DAMASCUS – It might be possible for the Syrian government and the armed opposition forces to cooperate against militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) without President Bashar al-Assad having first left power, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday.
He added that the main obstacle in the face of such a cooperation might be the rebels’ fear that Assad eventually stays in power.
“It is not clear that he (Assad) would have to go if there was clarity with respect to what his future might or might not be,” Kerry said.
“But it would be exceedingly difficult to cooperate without some indication or confidence on the part of those who have been fighting him that in fact there is a resolution or a solution in sight,” he added.
Assad’s main allies, Iran and Russia, have earlier announced that whether the Syrian president stays in power of leaves it remains up to the Syrian people to decide through elections.
This comes amid mounting military operations by Russia and Iran on the Syrian soil in a bid to bolster the Assad regime against rebel forces and Islamist groups.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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