US envoy to Syria: ‘We have not said that the ISIS story has ended’

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Joel Rayburn, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Envoy for Syria, US Department of State, speaking about the ISIS in Syria said: “We have said that the US-led coalition… had been successful in destroying the physical caliphate of Daesh (ISIS).”

Rayburn added: “But we haven’t said that that’s the end of the story with respect to Daesh (ISIS). There has to be a stabilization phase for the territories that have been liberated from ISIS.”

“This conflict has to be solved politically, there is no military solution that’s coming.”

Rayburn was speaking during a panel discussion moderated by Al Arabiya’s Rima Maktabi at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), which kicked off Saturday in Jordan’s Dead Sea region.

Others on the panel included Seyed Salih Al-Hakim, Director, Al-Kalima Center for Dialogue and Cooperation; Leena Al Olaimy, Co-Founder and Managing Director, 3 BL Associates; Ghassan Hasbani, Deputy Prime Minister of Lebanon; and Alain Bejjani, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Holding.

“It’s for the Syrian people to decide their own leadership, their own government,” Rayburn said during the session. “The Assad regime has got to stop its hostile behavior … What the Assad regime and its patrons appear to want is having been the main factor in the destruction of Syria, they would like for the rest of the international community to fund the rebuilding of what they had destroyed,” he added.

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