National-security adviser John Bolton said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power wasn’t a strategic issue for the US and that President Donald Trump hoped to secure Russia’s help in evicting Iranian forces from the country.
Appearing on CBS on Sunday, Bolton indicated that Assad’s efforts to vanquish his opposition weren’t the Trump administration’s principal concern in the region.
The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that Trump planned to seek Moscow’s help in scaling back Iran’s military presence in Syria when he meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on July 16.
Bolton expanded on that theme on Sunday, saying Iran’s presence was a question the “two presidents will want to discuss at length.”
“There are possibilities for doing a larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian forces out of Syria and back into Iran, which would be a significant step forward,” he said.