Haley: ‘We Think’ Regime Change Is Likely To Happen In Syria

Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Sunday said that “regime change is something that” President Donald Trump’s administration thinks will take place in Syria, days after Trump approved a military strike against a Syrian air field.

“We don’t see a peaceful Syria with Assad in there,” Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Haley said that Trump’s administration has “multiple priorities” and “getting Assad out is not the only priority.”

“A political solution is going to have to happen but we know that there is not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime,” she said. “If you look at his actions, if you look at his situation, it’s going to be hard to see a government that’s peaceful and stable with Assad.”

“Is it the position of the Trump administration that he cannot be ruler of Syria anymore?” Jake Tapper asked. “Regime change is the policy?”

“Regime change is something that we think is going to happen,” Haley replied.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer declined to answer on Friday whether Trump’s decision to order the missile strike on Thursday indicated that he thought Assad should relinquish power.

On NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Haley said that the strike sent a message to Russia and other countries that support Assad’s regime, including Iran.

“This is something to let Russia know, you know what? We’re not going to have you cover for this regime anymore,” she said. “And we’re not going to allow things like this to happen to innocent people.”

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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