U.S. ‘prepared’ for military solution in Syria, says VP

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) chats with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu before their meeting in Istanbul, Turkey January 23, 2016 in this handout photo provided by the Prime Minister's Press Office. (Reuters)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said that the U.S. was prepared for a military solution in Syria if a political solution was not possible.

“We do know it would better if we can reach a political solution but we are prepared ..., if that’s not possible, to have a military solution to this operation and taking out Daesh,” Biden said at a news conference, using an Arabic term for the militant group, which controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

The suggestion comes as Washington appears to be ramping up its rhetoric on ending the civil war, which has dragged on for over four years, and has claimed the lives of over 200,000.

The vice president reaffirmed the U.S. government’s designation of the Kurdish militia group PKK, is a terror group “plain and simple,” equally a threat to Turkey as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Biden is currently in Turkey, where he was set to holds talks with Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said following a meeting with Biden that the Turkish military was in Iraq to ward off ISIS, reiterating that Ankara respects Iraqi territorial unity.

Davutoglu thanked Biden for visiting Cyprus, adding that the United States will have an important role in Cyprus peace talks.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also said after talks with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states in Saudi Arabia that he was confident Syria peace talks would proceed.

“We are confident that with good initiative in the next day or so those talks can get going and that the U.N. representative special envoy Staffan De Mistura will be convening people in an appropriate manner for the proximity talks that will be the first meeting in Geneva,” he told reporters in Riyadh.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46