Both Russian President, Vladimir Putin and US President-elect Donald Trump have hinted at building stronger ties between the two countries. The US does not back the Assad regime, and the possibility of strengthening relations with Russia comes at a time when the US strongly opposes Russia’s involvement in Syria, with trump having his own views on the situation.

What does Syrian president, Bashar al- Assad, say about all of this? Well, Assad believes that improved relations between these two world powers could alter the situation in Syria significantly.

Assad sees strengthened US-Russian ties as a positive step for the US and Syria

Perhaps Trump’s opinions on the US policy in Syria which he made during his campaigns leading up to the presidential election led Assad to see Trump’s inauguration later this month to be a positive move for the US. According to the RTL broadcaster, Assad made the following statement which reflected his thoughts on the matter: “I mean the existing relationship, the improvement of ties between the United States and Russia will have a positive impact on the conflict in Syria.”

Trump's views on dealing with the Syrian crisis

Trump has been highly critical of the current role of the US in the Syrian war. It seems for Trump, destroying ISIS is a far greater priority than convincing Assad to step down.

It is likely that Trump will cut off aid to rebels in Syria who are fighting the Syrian government. Rather than influencing Russia to end its support for Assad and his troops, Trump is expected to focus his efforts on fighting ISIS.

What future role will the US have in the fighting the war in Syria?

Trump has indicated during his speeches on several occasions at strengthening US-Russia relations to fight the war against terrorism, and Assad feels it could be a means to resolving the Syrian crisis.

What started off as peaceful protests in the country soon broke out into a civil war which began in 2011 and is now moving into its sixth year.

Russia is supporting Assad’s military in bringing down rebels in Syria, but should US-Russian ties strengthen in time to come, with Trump in the picture, what future role will the US play in the Syrian crisis?