By Fred Fleitz
Did Russia force President Obama to alter his Syria policy?
You may remember President Obama saying that the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was non-negotiable in resolving the crisis in Syria because of the bloody brutality of his regime which has killed over 250,000 people since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.
President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry also have said it will be impossible to form a coalition of Syrian rebels and troops from regional states to defeat ISIS as long as Assad remains in power. As recently as December 18, President Obama said Assad “has lost (his) legitimacy” and will have to “leave.” However, that same day the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution endorsing a Syrian peace process with no mention of Assad’s fate.
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