Obama Warns of Extremist Threat in Syria

US President Barack Obama expressed Friday fears that Syria turns a haven for extremists when President Bashar al-Assad is ousted from power.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Obama, standing side by side with Jordan's King Abdullah II, said the international community must work together to ensure there was a credible opposition ready to step into the breach.

"Something has been broken in Syria, and it's not going to be put back together perfectly immediately - even after al-Assad leaves," Obama said. "But we can begin the process of moving it in a better direction, and having a cohesive opposition is critical to that."

He further claimed that "al-Assad was sure to go but there was great uncertainty about what would happen after that."

"I am very concerned about Syria becoming an enclave for extremism," Obama said, adding that extremism thrived in chaos and failed states. He claimed the rest of the world had a huge stake in ensuring that a functioning Syria emerged.

"The outcome is Syria is not going to be ideal," he said, adding that strengthening a credible opposition was crucial to minimizing the difficulties.

Obama, at a joint news conference with Abdullah, said his administration was working with Congress to provide Jordan with an additional $200 million in aid this year to cope with the massive influx of refugees streaming into the country from Syria.

Abdullah said the refugee population in his country had topped 460,000 and was likely to double by the end of the year.


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