U.S. Special Envoy for Syria Rayburn: Assad’s staying in power is up to the Syrian people

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an interview with the daily National Newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, U.S. Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn stated that, “The policy that Washington has pursued with regard to Syria over the past several years has always sought bipartisan support. ”

Rayburn explained that this policy includes three interconnected goals: (1) fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, (2) combatting the Iranian military presence in Syria represented by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its militias, and (3) securing a political solution according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.

Rayburn rejected the notion that the U.S. is responsible for the suffering of the Syrian people due to rounds of financial sanctions and severe travel penalties that have targeted dozens of individuals and entities affiliated with the Syrian regime, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle.

When asked whether the U.S. would accept Assad staying in office under international supervision, Rayburn said, “It is up to the Syrian people.”