Improved U.S.-Russia Ties Positive for Syria, Assad Says

  • Syrian conflict which began in 2011 has killed 450,000
  • Syrian war has drawn in major international, regional powers

A “genuine” effort to improve relations between the U.S. and Syria’s ally, Russia, will have a positive impact on the Syrian conflict, President Bashar al-Assad said.

The core of the six-year Syrian conflict is influenced by regional and international issues that depend “mainly on the relation between the United States and Russia,” Assad said in a statement to French media carried by state-run SANA news agency.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have both said they want to improve bilateral ties. Russia is supporting Assad militarily in his conflict against Syrian rebels.

“If there’s a genuine approach or initiative toward improving relations between the United States and Russia, that will affect every problem in the world, including Syria,” he said. It will “reflect positively on the Syrian conflict,” he added.

The Syrian conflict began in March 2011 with peaceful protests that evolved into a civil war that has drawn in major international and regional powers and killed more than 450,000 people, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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