US Vice President Joe Biden has ruled out a military solution to end the years-long conflict in Syria, urging all parties involved to focus on a political settlement.
“That should be clear to everyone,” Biden said in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, on Monday. "So as hard as it is, we have to keep trying to reach a political settlement."
The stop in Abu Dhabi marks the beginning of Biden's Middle East tour which involves stops in Israel, the West Bank and Jordan, the AFP reported.
Fighting in Syria has seen a sharp decrease after the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, negotiated by the US and Russia, went into effect on February 27.
The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and opposition groups are slated to resume UN-sponsored peace talks in Geneva as the shaky truce holds.
The negotiations aim to end the five-year conflict which has consumed the lives of at least 270,000 Syrians, displaced millions more and devastated the war-torn country’s infrastructure.
Describing the truce as “not perfect,” Biden said “a political solution between the parties is the only way to end the violence and give the Syrian people the chance they deserve to rebuild their country.”
Daesh will be wiped out
Later in the day, Biden went to a military base where he told hundreds of American and US allied troops that Washington was going to "squeeze the heart of Daesh" out.
"We have to squeeze the heart of Daesh in Iraq and Syria so they can't continue to pump the poison in the region and the rest of the world," he said.
Biden noted that the fight would take time, but said the US will stay committed until “the evil” is wiped out.
Since late September 2014, the US along with some of its allies has been conducting airstrikes against Daesh extremists inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or the United Nations.
The air raids in Syria are an extension of the US-led aerial campaign against alleged Daesh positions in Iraq, which started in August last year.
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