U.S. President Barack Obama extends his hand to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in New York September 28, 2015. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

President of the United States Barack Obama pointed out to world leaders at a summit in New York on Wednesday of the need for a new Syrian leader to put up a successful fight against the Islamic State terrorist group. He said the coalition can claim victory over the notorious organisation only if current Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad steps down.

Following a tussle with Russian President Vladimir Putin on how to deal with the violence spread by the Islamic State, Obama called for a counter terrorism summit at the United Nations in New York. While addressing the group gathered at the summit, Obama also noted that bringing down the terrorist outfit would take time.

"This is not a conventional battle. This is a long-term campaign -- not only against this particular network, but against its ideology," he said.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron extended his support to Obama, saying that the UK would "continue to support the transition in Syria… that we need to see so badly".

The decision by Russia to send a low-level diplomat to the meeting that was attended by around 100 leaders has been seen as an attempt to slight the purpose of the summit. Putin in his UN speech urged nations to join a broad coalition with the Syrian army to fight ISIS.

Assad’s fate is the main point of disagreement between the U.S. and Syria’s key allies in Russia and Iran.

Australia softened its stance on Assad a few days ago, due to the magnitude of violence being carried out in Syria. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, while in New York for a UN meet last week, that Australia considers Bashar Al-Assad to be a better option for a Syrian leader than creating a vacuum, which might usher in someone more diabolical and destructive than him.

She also noted that the involvement of the Russian military in the Syrian war calls for more immediate action. "The reality is president Assad is still in Syria, the reality is Russia is backing President Assad," she said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry indicated a possible truce with Russia and Iran on Syria if they are able to persuade Assad to stop harming civilians with barrel bombs.

“They are both in a position, in exchange perhaps for something that we might do, they might decide to keep Assad from dropping barrel bombs,” Kerry said in an interview with MSNBC

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