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WH Won't Telegraph Any Ties to Assad Opposition in Syria

Image: WH Won't Telegraph Any Ties to Assad Opposition in Syria
White House press secretary Sean Spicer (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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Monday, 10 Apr 2017 06:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In striking contrast to the policy of the Obama administration, the White House made clear Monday afternoon it was not going to telegraph any contacts it might have with Syrian groups opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

"I'm not going to go into details on what we're doing and who we're talking with," White House press secretary Sean Spicer told Newsmax.

At the regular briefing Monday for reporters at the White House, we cited the Obama administration's backing of the Free Syrian Army. Frequently dubbed "the moderate rebels" by U.S. officials, the FSA was composed largely of both secular defectors from Assad's armed forces.

Founded in 2011, the FSA has been controversial because many of its original soldiers transferred their loyalties to jihadist fighting units. Last year, the group began to regain its power in Northern Syrian largely thanks to airstrikes organized by Turkey.

Another booster of the FSA as the major force against Assad was Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Appearing on Fox News the day after the missile strike against Syria, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman McCain said he hopes President Trump "moves forward" by establishing no-fly zones and "reinvigorating" U.S. support for the Free Syrian Army.

The White House, however, is having none of it.

"Obviously that didn't prove too successful in the last administration in terms of regime change," Spicer told us. "So, I'm not going to get into what we're doing, and how we're doing it."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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In striking contrast to the policy of the Obama administration, the White House made clear Monday afternoon it was not going to telegraph any contacts it might have with Syrian groups opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Bashar al-Assad, opposition, civil war, missile strikes
261
2017-13-10
Monday, 10 Apr 2017 06:13 PM
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