Overall, the situation in Syria is one where our approach today and our policy today is, first, to defeat ISIS. By defeating ISIS we remove one of the disruptive elements in Syria that exists today.
That begins to clarify for us opposition forces and regime forces. In working with the coalition — as you know, there is a large coalition of international players and allies who are involved in the future resolution in Syria.
So it’s to defeat ISIS; it’s to begin to stabilize areas of Syria, stabilize areas in the south of Syria, stabilize areas around Raqqa through ceasefire agreements between the Syrian regime forces and opposition forces. Stabilize those areas; begin to restore some normalcy to them. Restore them to local governance — and there are local leaders who are ready to return, some who have left as refugees — they’re ready to return to govern these areas.
Use local forcesthat will be part of the liberation effort to develop the local security forces — law enforcement, police force. And then use other forces to create outer perimeters of security so that areas like Raqqa, areas in the south can begin to provide a secure environment so refugees can begin to go home and begin the rebuilding process.
In the midst of that, through the Geneva Process, we will start a political process to resolve Syria’s future in terms of its governance structure, and that ultimately, in our view, will lead to a resolution of Bashar al-Assad’s departure.