WASHINGTON – The Trumpet administration is expected to make the name of John Hannah, a former assistant of Vice-President Dick Cheney, his next special envoy for Syria, two people familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
Hannah, who was Cheney’s national security adviser, also worked in the State Department during the Clinton administration and the first Bush administration. He is likely to be named to the post in the coming weeks, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t allowed to publicly discuss the appointment.
Most recently, Hannah has worked as senior advisor at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy. The Washington-based think tank is close to the Trump of the administration and the lawyers hawkish policies on national security, and in particular, on Iran, whose growing influence in Syria is a major concern for the United States and Israel.
Hannah’s appointment comes as the united states and other countries the struggle to advance U. N.-led efforts to reach a political solution for Syria’s long civil war. The U. N. envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said on Wednesday that the current situation is “as “violent and disturbing, and dangerous,” a time when it has seen in four years. He pointed to an increase of violence, he said, was undermining peace prospects and threatening the region’s stability.
Until recently, the AMERICAN efforts in Syria were largely aimed at combating the Islamic State group, which is still active in certain pockets of the country, but no longer controls large parts of the territory. The Trumpet administration has warned against letting the extremist group is totally defeated. Meanwhile, a small number of State Department officials are also in Syria to help coordinate the humanitarian aid and restore stability to areas liberated from IS.
Hannah’s choice was first reported by the newspaper Al-Monitor. Hannah does not respond to a request for comment.