Kerry: US forces in Syria do not signal entering another Middle East war

"President Obama has made a very strong and forceful and simple decision entirely in keeping with his originally stated policy that we must defeat and destroy Daesh," Kerry said.

By REUTERS
October 31, 2015 17:36
1 minute read.

Kerry: US forces in Syria do not signal entering another Middle East war

Kerry: US forces in Syria do not signal entering another Middle East war

 
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BISHKEK-The decision by US President Barack Obama to send special forces to Syria is strictly focused on fighting Islamic State and does not signify the United States is entering Syria's civil war, US Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"President Obama has made a very strong and forceful and simple decision entirely in keeping with his originally stated policy that we must defeat and destroy Daesh," Kerry said, using the Arabic term for Islamic State.

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"It is not a decision to enter into Syria's civil war. It is not an action focused on (Syrian President Bashar) Assad, it focused exclusively on Daesh and in augmenting our ability to rapidly attack Daesh," Kerry told a news briefing on a visit to Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek.

US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived on Saturday in Kyrgyzstan on his way back from international talks in Vienna aimed at finding a political solution to Syria's four-year-old civil war.

The United States, Russia, Iran and other powers called for a nationwide truce in Syria's four-year civil war, fresh elections and a new Constitution.

In a joint statement after the talks in Vienna, the participants said "substantial differences remain", though they agreed it was "imperative to accelerate all diplomatic efforts to end the war".

On Friday, The US announced it's decision to send US special operations forces to Syria -- on the same day that 17 countries, the European Union and the United Nations called for a nationwide truce in Syria's civil war at the talks in Vienna.

The talks were attended, for the first time since the conflict began in 2011, by Assad's ally Iran.

Kerry, who was in Vienna, described the timing of the US military announcement as a coincidence.

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