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Travel 21 (more Tillerson)
Noah Bierman • Los Angeles Times
April 6, 2017: 11:33 PM


Tillerson: "No contacts were made with Moscow with President Putin. There are military deconfliction agreements in place with the Russian military and our military did operate under and in accordance with those deconfliction agreements in coordinating this particular attack."

Diplomatic considerations re: Russia, kurds, Turkey?

Tillerson: "My expectation is that all of those parties with the exception of Bashar al-Assad and perhaps Russia, I think are going to applaud this particular action…overall the situation in Syria's one where our approach today and our policy today is first to defeat isis. By defeating isis we remove one of the disruptive elements in syria that exists today. That begins the clarify for us opposition forces and regime forces and working with the coalition – as you know there is a large coalition of international players and allies who are involved in the future resolution in syria. To defeat isis is to begin to stabilize areas of syria, stabilize areas in the south of syria, stabilize areas around Raqqa through cease fire agreements between the Syrian regime forces and opposition forces, stabilize those areas, begin to restore some normalcy to them, restore them to local governments. There are local leaders who are ready to return, some who've left as refugees that are ready to return to govern these areas use local forces that will be part of the liberation effort to develop the local security forces, law enforcement, police force, and then use other forces to create outer perimiters of security so that areas like Raqqa, areas in the south can begin to provide a secure environment so refugees can begin to go home and begin the rebuilding process. In the midst of that through the Geneva process, we will start a political process to resolve syria's future in terms of its governance structure and that ultimately in our view will lead to a resolution of basher al assad's departure."

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