German FM: U.S. Retreat on Assad ‘Irritated’ Europe

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Thursday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments about Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s removal not being a priority for the U.S. “irritated” Europe. Gabriel said he was heartened when President Donald Trump spoke out forcefully Wednesday against the Assad government to condemn a suspected nerve-gas attack that killed dozens of civilians. “Apart from the war on terror, it’s just as important to achieve a constitutional reform in Syria and free elections, and of course that can’t mean Assad staying in power permanently,” he added.