WASHINGTON, DC — The Russian and Iranian-assisted regime of Bashar al-Assad is winning the civil war that has killed hundreds of thousands in Syria since 2011, suggested the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, stressing that toppling the dictator is not part of the American mission in the conflict-ridden country.
“From a civil war standpoint, it would appear that the regime is ascendant here,” Votel told Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) when the lawmaker asked who is winning the civil war in Syria.
The Russian armed forces have reportedly threatened action against the U.S. military if it attacks the Assad regime in Syria again.
American troops have already retaliated to aggression by Assad regime troops and their allies, citing self-defense.
Nevertheless, Gen. Votel stressed during the hearing on Tuesday that the U.S. mission in Syria remains focused on annihilating the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), which has already lost more than 98 percent of the territory it once held in the region.