The US will keep an indefinite military presence in Syria in order to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed in a speech at Stanford University on January 17.
“Assad’s regime is corrupt, and his methods of governance and economic development have increasingly excluded certain ethnic and religious groups,” the official said. “Such oppression cannot persist forever.”
“A total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad and continue his brutal treatment of his own people,” he continued.
Tillerson added that “free and transparent elections … will result in the permanent departure of Assad and his family from power.”
Currently, the US has at least 2,000 troops deployed in Syria according to official reports.