Nikki Haley Changes Course: Removal of Syria's Assad Now US Priority

American envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley outlined an expansive agenda, including "inevitable" regime change, for US intervention in Syria in a CNN State of the Union interview airing Sunday. Thirdly, get the Iranian influence out, and then, finally, move towards a political solution, because at the end of the day, this is a complicated situation."Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Saturday about the situation in Syria, a longtime Russian ally, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on its official Facebook page."Lavrov stressed that an attack on a country whose government is fighting terrorism only plays into the hands of extremists (and) creates additional threats to regional and global security", the post said.On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the U.S. strike "aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of worldwide law."The full interview is set to air Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union", at 9 a.m. ET".

"Getting [Bashar al-Assad] out is not the only priority", she said in response to host Jake Tapper's question about whether regime change is official US policy.

"Regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria".

"You pick and choose your battles and when we're looking at this, it's about changing up priorities and our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out", Haley told reporters on 30 March, just days before dozens of Syrian civilians deceased from chemical weapons injuries.

The former SC governor explained that there are now "multiple priorities" and that "getting Assad out is not the only priority".

Damascus and Moscow have denied Syrian forces were behind the gas attack but Western countries dismissed their explanation that chemicals leaked from a rebel weapons depot after an air strike.

Haley reiterated the comments of Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, who insisted that defeating Islamic Stare was the priority for the White House.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Washington of "playing the terrorism game", during his first phone talks with his United States counterpart Rex Tillerson since the United States air strikes on Syria.

Once the threat from Isis has been reduced or eliminated, "I think we can turn our attention directly to stabilising the situation in Syria", Tillerson said.

"The Russians were never targeted in this particular strike", Tillerson said.

The exact nature of the substance used in the attack has not been confirmed, and Syria has insisted it would not and has not used chemical weapons. Lavrov said United States allegations that Syria carried out the chemical attack "do not correspond to reality".

Assad's principal backer, Russia, has said the chemical release in Khan Sheikhun was the result of Syrian jets bombing a rebel weapons store.

Tensions between Russian Federation and the USA have increased sharply since Trump ordered the missile strikes.

Tillerson insisted he had no concerns about possible Russian retaliation after the United States attack on the airbase. We're not going to have you cover for this regime anymore.

  • Leroy Wright