President Obama declared Friday that military intervention by Russia and Iran in Syria’s civil war “will not work.”
“Iran is going to send more people in, but it’s not going to work,” Mr. Obama said at a White House press conference. “Their basic premise … about Syria has not worked and will not work.”
He said Moscow and Tehran are supporting a regime in Syria “that is not legitimate.” The U.S. wants Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down; Iran is sending hundreds of troops to support the regime and Russia started a bombing campaign against Assad’s opponents on Sept. 30.
Mr. Obama said the U.S. and Russia have reached a basic understanding about “de-conflicting” each other’s military in Syria, where the U.S. is bombing the Islamic State militant group. But he said there is “no meeting of the minds in terms of strategy” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“They’re not going to be abler to bomb their way to a peaceful solution” in Syria, Mr. Obama said of the Russians.