The Director of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, has expressed pessimism about the future of Syria.
"I don't know whether or not Syria can be put back together again," Brennan told the annual Aspen Security Forum on Friday in Washington, DC.
“Syria is by the far most complicated issue I've ever had to deal with in my national security career, bar none, because there are so many external, internal actors, so many factors, a lot of our objectives are in direct tension with one another," he said.
Brennan said Syria may not survive the five-year conflict in its current state and echoed calls by Washington and its allies for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad from power.
The CIA chief said Assad’s ouster is essential to overcoming the ongoing crisis in Syria.
His comments come as the US and some of its international allies have been lending generous financial and military support to the militants who began to wreak havoc in Syria five years ago.
The Muslim country has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
A US-led coalition has been bombarding Syria since September 2014 without authorization from Damascus or the United Nations.
The coalition claims to target the positions of Daesh (ISIL) terrorists.