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Biden Administration takes a "hands-off" approach to Syria, while Jordon increases engagement

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Syria's President Bashar Al-AssadNBC News

Biden and his administration are leaning into a "hands-off" approach to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. This runs counter to his platform to champion global human rights, but he is also not keen on more lengthy foreign conflicts after Afghanistan.

Ilan Berman, the senior vice president of the American Foreign Policy Council, wrote in Newsweek, “Over the past eight months, the new administration has progressively scaled-down the U.S. commitment to isolating Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad or imposing costs on his brutal regime for its domestic abuses of power.”

Charles Lister, a senior fellow and the director of the Syria and Counterterrorism and Extremism programs at the Middle East Institute, wrote in Foreign Policy, “U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has adopted a largely hands-off approach to Syria.”

Josh Rogin, writing in the Washington Post last week, “Ever since he met President Biden at the White House in July, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been leading a rapid regional normalization of the Bashar al-Assad regime. This runs counter to U.S.-Syria policy and counters to U.S. law."
SyriaVice News

I have been alarmed by recent reporting that the U.S. is supporting efforts by Arab states to normalize relations with the Assad government, including a partnership between Jordan and Egypt to deliver natural gas to Lebanon through Syria, something sure to enrich Assad and his allies. - Representative Judy Chu (D., Calif.)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the administration does not intend to support any efforts to normalize ties with Assad or rehabilitate him “until there is irreversible progress towards a political solution in Syria.”

The Biden administration has lifted sanctions against the Assad regime. “The Assad regime and the United States say that they are prepared to co-operate on a plan to rescue Lebanon’s electricity supply," a Damascus official said after a visit by Lebanese ministers.”

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