The White House said on Friday that the United States must accept the political reality that the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is up to the Syrian people.
It said that the U.S. focus in the region must be on defeating Islamic State militants.
“With respect to Assad, there is a political reality that we have to accept in terms of where we are right now,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a news briefing.
“We lost a lot of opportunity in the last administration with respect to Assad, we need to focus now on defeating ISIS,” he said, using an acronym for the group.
“The U.S. has profound priorities in Syria and Iraq and we have made it clear that counterterrorism, particularly the defeat of ISIS, is foremost among those priorities.”