US President Barack Obama believes the war in Syria is unlikely to end before he leaves office in early 2017, and has again said there is no “military solution” to the conflict.
“The situation in Syria is heartbreaking but it’s extremely complex,” Obama said in an interview with the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television network.
Asked if the conflict might be resolved before he ends his second term, Obama responded: “Probably not.”
“You have a civil war in a country that arises out of longstanding grievances,” he said of the fighting that has left more than 220,000 people dead.
“It was not something that was triggered by the United States and it was not something that could have been stopped by the United States.
“All too often in the Middle East region, people attribute everything to the United States.”
Obama emphasised that settling the conflict would require the cooperation of Gulf allies and other regional nations such as Turkey, but that “a military solution is not going to be the solution”.