The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East said he believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will remain in power for “some time,” admitting things will get worse before they get better in the region. General Mattis said Iran is the biggest threat to the United States and is working “earnestly” to keep the Syrian leader in power.
He also said Russian military assistance to Syria make it difficult to establish a no fly zone in the region. General Mattis, along with the commander of U.S. Special Operations spoke about Iran’s nuclear program and political unrest and violence in Syria. Both commanders spoke about the future of U.S. afghan relations with the recent violent protests over Koran burnings in Afghanistan and President Obama’s Central Command & Special Ops Budget Request.