Introduction — Sept 7, 2018
This merely confirms what we’ve suspected for some time: the U.S. is in no hurry to leave Syria and seems intent on keeping some sort U.S. military presence in the country for some time to come.
This despite President Trump saying just 5 months ago that he wanted to ‘get out of Syria‘. Or that the Islamic militants that the U.S. was supposedly fighting have been all but defeated and that Syrian President Assad never invited the U.S. military anyway.
In fact President Assad warned America in May that its military should leave the country but instead of leaving Trump has now agreed to an “indefinite” stay in Syria.
In effect this constitutes a hostile act that is little short of a declaration of war. Indeed, unless U.S. forces in Syria are very careful this is exactly what could happen. As U.S. forces in the country could easily clash, maybe inadvertently, with Russian and Iranian forces both of whom were invited to Syria, or with the Syrian forces themselves.
In the light of this Trump’s commitment to an “indefinite” military effort in Syria seems like a sure fire recipe for further conflict.
Is this the intention? Because that is certainly where this could end as Trump has just betrayed the very people who voted him into office. Ed.
Trump agrees to an indefinite military effort and new diplomatic push in Syria, U.S. officials say
Karen DeYoung — Washington Post Sept 6, 2018
President Trump, who just five months ago said he wanted “to get out” of Syria and bring U.S. troops home soon, has agreed to a new strategy that indefinitely extends the military effort there and launches a major diplomatic push to achieve American objectives, according to senior State Department officials.
Although the military campaign against the Islamic State has been nearly completed, the administration has redefined its goals to include the exit of all Iranian military and proxy forces from Syria, and establishment of a stable, non-threatening government acceptable to all Syrians and the international community.
Much of the motivation for the change, officials said, stems from growing doubts about whether Russia, which Trump has said could be a partner, is able and willing to help eject Iran. Russia and Iran have together been Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s principal allies in obliterating a years-long effort by domestic rebels to oust the Syrian leader.
“The new policy is we’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year,” said James Jeffrey, a retired senior Foreign Service officer who last month was named Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “representative for Syria engagement.” About 2,200 U.S. troops are serving in Syria, virtually all of them devoted to the war against the Islamic State in the eastern third of the country.
Jeffrey said U.S. forces are to remain in the country to ensure an Iranian departure and the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State.
“That means we are not in a hurry,” he said. Asked whether Trump had signed off on what he called “a more active approach,” Jeffrey said, “I am confident the president is on board with this.”