General Raymond Thomas, commander of the United States Special Operations Command, confirmed in his speech during the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado that the United States have suspended the program to arm and train the Syrian opposition.
General Thomas defended the US administration’s decision and asserted that its aim wasn’t to appease Russia.
“As I know about the program and the decision to end it, it was never appeasing the Russians,” he said. “It was, I think, based on an assessment of the nature of the program and what we are trying to accomplish and the viability of it going forward. And a tough, tough decision”.
General Thomas denied that the Commander of the United States Special Operations Command had a role in the program, but highlighted the great difficulties the CIA faced during its work on the program saying that “a sister organization, a parallel activity, that had a tough, some would argue impossible mission, based on the approach that we took”.
From its side, Russia welcomed the Trump administration decision to stop the training and arming of Syrian opposition groups.
“We welcome all the steps aimed at easing tensions and enhancing security in the Middle East,” Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department Artyom Kozhin said.