US willing to work with Russia and Iran on Syria crisis: Obama
Sept.28, New Work: US President Barack Obama on Monday said that the United States was willing to work with Russia as well as Iran to achieve a "managed transition" to remove Syrian leader Bashar Assad from power.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly, President Obama said, Assad must go.
However, tensions remain high between the U.S. and Russia, Assad's strongest ally. The Syrian leader's future was expected to be a top issue during a rare face-to-face meeting late Monday between Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Obama said, "We must recognize that there cannot be, after so much bloodshed, so much carnage, a return to the prewar status quo."
Putin was to address the U.N. General Assembly after Obama. He was expected to argue that Assad's military is the most capable force for fighting the Islamic State, the extremist group with key strongholds in Syria and Iraq and therefore needs to be strengthened.
Obama rejected Putin's continued support for Assad, saying that simply arguing that the "alternative is surely worse" is not a solution to a crisis.
In fact, Russia has appeared to deepen its support for Assad in recent weeks, sending additional military equipment and troops with the justification that it is helping the government fight the Islamic State.
More than 250,000 people died in Syria since it began in 2011 which led to a flood of refugees and created a vacuum for the Islamic State and other extremist groups.
The Oslo Times