Rex Tillerson admits Donald Trump’s attack on Syria wasn’t intended to do any damage to Assad

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With each passing day it becomes more difficult to figure out if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is a liability who keeps saying things that undermine the Donald Trump administration’s action, or if Tillerson is merely as confused as the rest of us when it comes to what Trump is doing. The latest instance came today when Tillerson acknowledged that the U.S. plans to work with the Syrian dictator whom Trump just dropped five dozen Tomahawk missiles on.

Rex Tillerson appeared on ABC this morning in an interview with host George Stephanopoulos and tried to explain the military action that Donald Trump had just ordered in Syria. That was a tall task to begin with, because it’s quickly become clear that those missiles were aimed at not disabling the air force base they hit (link); in fact the base was back to launching planes just hours later. Not only did Tillerson have no real answer for that, he took things further by painting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad as an ally (along with Russia) in the ongoing fight against ISIS. Here’s the money quote, if you can decipher it:

“We have the war to defeat ISIS in which many of those battle plans are being coordinated between the U.S., its coalition agreements, Turkey, some of the Syrian opposition and others. And it is being coordinated somewhat with the Syrian regime and the Russian forces to put pressure on ISIS to eliminate them.”

In other words, Tillerson’s position is that the U.S. still plans to rely on Assad to help take out what’s left of ISIS. That would explain why the U.S. avoided bombing the runways of his air force base and left it fully functional. But in so doing, Tillerson is admitting that the U.S. missile attack on Assad’s air base was a sham which served no military or strategic purpose.

   

Watch Rex Tillerson make the admission on ABC in this video:

If the above video won’t play, you can find the transcript here.

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