Source: CNS News, by Terence P. Jeffrey
Six years after President Barack Obama declared that Syrian President Bashar al Assad needed to “step aside,” Obama is out office, Assad remains in office, Syrian Christians are being targeted for genocide by Assad’s enemy, the Islamic State, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is telling reporters that whether Assad should stay or go will be decided by the Syrian people.
“About President Assad, should he stay or should he go?” a reporter asked Tillerson at a press briefing today in Ankara, Turkey.
“I think the status and the longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people,” Tillerson responded.
On Aug. 18, 2011, President Barack Obama issued a written statement declaring that Assad must step down.
“Today, President Obama called for the President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, to step aside and took the strongest financial action against the Syrian regime thus far,” said the White House introduction to Obama’s statement.
Obama opened that statement by applauding what he called “the Syrian peoples’ pursuit of a peaceful transition to democracy.”
Obama went on to say that under his leadership the United States would be “pressuring President Assad to get out of the way.”
Then-Secretary of State John Kerry meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2010, the year before President Obama said Assad must step down. (AP Photo)
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way,” said Obama. “His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people. We have consistently said that President Assad must lead a democratic transition or get out of the way. He has not led. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.