Quotes from the news wire:
Despite Iranian and Russian support for Assad, Tillerson said the U.S will attempt to isolate the Syrian regime government by cutting off international reconstruction aid flows to any parts of the country controlled by Assad. Once Assad is gone from power, the United States will gladly encourage the normalization of economic relationships between Syria and other nations.
The United States is prepared to explore the possibility of establishing with Russia joint mechanisms for ensuring stability, including no-fly zones, on the ground ceasefire observers, and coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance, if our two countries work together to establish stability on the ground, it will lay a foundation for progress on the settlement of Syria's political future.
I know change like this is really stressful for a lot of peple, there's nothing easy about it, and I don't want to diminish the challenges in any way it presents to individuals, it presents to families, it presents to organizations. All I can offer you on the other side of that equation is an opportunity to shape the future way we deliver on mission.
In terms of the future of Bashar al-Assad, it is important to us that we undertake a political process that leads to the final conclusion of how Syria will be governed. It is our policy for a unified Syria that is governed by the people of Syria. I think it is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.
That will part of the discussions when I visit Moscow next week is to call upon Foreign Minister Lavrov and the Russian government to fulfill the obligation it made to the international community when it agreed to be the guarantor of the elimination of the chemical weapons, and why Russia has not been able to achieve that is unclear to me. I don't draw conclusions of complicity at all, but clearly they've been incompetent and perhaps they've just simply been out-maneuvered by the Syrians.
It is clear that this is how Bashar al-Assad operates: with brutal, unabashed barbarism, it is also clear that this horrific conflict, now in its seventh year, demands a genuine ceasefire and the supporters of the armed combatants in the region need to ensure compliance. We call upon Russia and Iran, yet again, to exercise their influence over the Syrian regime and to guarantee that this sort of horrific attack never happens again. As the self-proclaimed guarantors to the ceasefire negotiated in Astana, Russia and Iran also bear great moral responsibility for these deaths.
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