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Expert says no u-turns in US stance on Syria can be expected under Trump

November 24, 2016, 22:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW

US president-elect Donald Trump has not yet announced his official position on Syria

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MOSCOW, November 24. /TASS/. The United States position on Syria is unlikely to be changed under the administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, a Russian political analyst said on Thursday.

"Trump can hardly been expected to plunge into direct cooperation not with us but also with Iran and Syria, to put up with the fact that there volunteers there who help the Syrian army," Vitaly Naumkin, the science director of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Oriental Studies, said. "This can hardly be expected. Such an alternative to the former U.S. administration is in question. Trump is rather tough in respect of Iran whereas the Hezbollah movement is seen by the Americans as a terrorist organization."

According to the Russian expert, heated debates are taking place in the Trump team concerning the United States’ policy in Syria. "Some say Trump must implement his election promises and cooperate with the Syrian authorities this or that way. It means to put up with the fact that Syrian President Bashar Assad stays in office and not to stake on his stepping down like it is done now, to cooperate with those forces that are fighting against Islamic State, bearing in mind that Trump has cited it as one of his major tasks," he said. "Other say, ‘No, Assad is unacceptable, we cannot cooperate with him by any means, so it is necessary to look for other ways.’"

Trump has not yet announced his official position on Syria, Naumkin noted. "We can guess it will differ from Hillary Clinton’s position at least concerning possible air strikes against the Syria army and a no-fly zone in Syria’s northern and southern territories. I don’t think Trump will do that," he said.

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