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Interim solution for Syria should allow Assad to stay - former US chief of staff

September 23, 2015, 4:31 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

Islamic State extremist organization

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WASHINGTON, September 23. /TASS/. Interim solution for Syria should allow President Bashar Assad to stay, at least for some time, former US Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson told the Real News Network.

"I hope Tehran, Ankara, Moscow, and Washington are all talking in this vein," Wilkerson said. "I recently had an opportunity to talk to a person at the secretary of state level, on that floor, who indicated to me that that might possibly be going on. I hope it is, because that's the only way we're going to stop this," he noted.

"The core element within ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, are the Sunnis we disenfranchised, disempowered in Iraq, and forced to go onto the battlefield again," he continued. "We want to stop the killing. We want to stop the now increasing destabilization of some key allies by all these refugees that are heading out of Syria. We want to get the situation under control, stabilize it, and somehow turn it around so it's more positive," Wilkerson said.

"It also will impact Iraq. It will impact Afghanistan. And ultimately it will impact this growing rapprochement with Iran, which can handle a lot more of these problems," he stressed.

Wilkerson said an important part was reaching an "interim political solution and we all admit Assad has to stay around, at least for a time, for that interim political solution."

Islamic State extremist organization

The Islamic State is an extremist organization banned in Russia. In 2013-2014, it called itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In June 2014, IS announce the establishment of the "Islamic caliphate" on the territories seized in Iraq and Syria. According to US’ Central Intelligence Agency, the extremist group includes around 30,000 people, while Iraqi authorities claim there are around 200,000 in IS. Among members of the group are citizens of 80 countries, including France, Great Britain, Germany, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, US, Canada, as well as Russia and other CIS countries. According to reports, militants now control around 40% of the Iraqi territory and 50% of the Syrian territory.

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