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US prepares new pressure campaign on Assad

The State Department believes it can force political concessions on Damascus, in line with recent recommendations from a congressionally mandated panel of experts.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the 38th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RC1B12006A30
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A senior State Department official told Al-Monitor that the Trump administration plans to intensify political and economic pressure on Syria in the coming months to compel the Bashar al-Assad government to “see reality and make concessions” regarding the stalled UN-backed peace process.

The remarks come as a bipartisan study group of experts and former policymakers commissioned by Congress shared similar recommendations with lawmakers earlier this month even as it tacitly acknowledged the long odds of success.

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