Trump officials say no new US focus on ousting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Trump officials say no new US focus on ousting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad

Top Trump administration officials say a Syrian chemical weapons attack that triggered retaliatory American airstrikes hasn’t shifted US priorities toward ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2017 20:06 IST
Top Trump administration officials say a Syrian chemical weapons attack that triggered retaliatory American airstrikes hasn’t shifted US priorities toward ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Top Trump administration officials say a Syrian chemical weapons attack that triggered retaliatory American airstrikes hasn’t shifted US priorities toward ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.(AFP File Photo)

Top Trump administration officials say a Syrian chemical weapons attack that triggered retaliatory American airstrikes hasn’t shifted US priorities toward ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In the early days after the chemical attack, President Donald Trump said his attitude toward Assad “has changed very much,” and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson even said “steps are underway” to organize a coalition to remove Assad from power.

But in a CBS interview airing Sunday, Tillerson says the priority “really hasn’t changed.” He says defeating the Islamic State group remains the top focus.

And Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells CNN that “getting Assad out is not the only priority.” She says countering Iran’s influence in Syria is another.