Donald Trump Outlines Policy on Syria

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – In his first interview since his election earlier this week, US President-elect Donald Trump told Wall Street Journal that he would prefer a sharper focus on fighting Daesh (ISIL) in Syria, rather than on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Donald Trump Outlines Policy on Syria

Although he wasn’t specific, Mr. Trump suggested a shift away from what he said was the current Obama administration's policy of attempting to find the so-called moderate Syrian opposition groups to support in the war there. “I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria,” he said.

“My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria...Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.”

If the US attacks Mr. Assad, Mr. Trump said, “We end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria.”

On a different foreign hot spot, the Israel-Palestine situation, which Mr. Trump called “the war that never ends,” he said he hoped to help craft a resolution between them.

On domestic policy, Trump said he would consider leaving in place certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, an indication of possible compromise after a campaign in which he pledged repeatedly to repeal the 2010 health-care law.

Other urgent priorities during his first few weeks as president, Trump said, would be deregulating financial institutions to allow “banks to lend again,” and securing the border against drugs and illegal immigrants.

On foreign affairs, Mr. Trump said he has heard from most leaders, though he hadn’t yet spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that a phone call between them is scheduled shortly.

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