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Introduction — Jan 19, 2018

U.S. troops on Turkey’s border with Syria. Click to enlarge

Informed persons knew from the outset that Iran was the real reason for the U.S. military deployment to Syria. Islamic State, financed and supported by U.S. allies, was simply a pretext. Washington’s real objective was to oust President Assad, Iran’s closest ally in the region and thereby open the way for regime change in Tehran.
Russian intervention in Syria has changed that.
A swift and effective Russian campaign has all but defeated what remains of Islamic State (otherwise known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) and robbed the U.S. of its original pretext for having troops on the ground. Forcing U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson to come clean about the real reason for retaining a U.S. military presence.
Iran, Russia, Syria and Turkey have all protested the continued U.S. military presence. However, we suspect that this will be of no avail as the defeat of its proxies forces the U.S. into the open over its real objectives in the region. To support Israel and bring regime change to Damascus and Israel’s biggest regional headache, Tehran. Ed.

US troops will stay in Syria to counter ‘strategic’ threat from Iran

By Liz Sly and Carol Morello — The Washington Post Jan 18, 2018

Rex Tillerson. Click to enlarge

Rex Tillerson. Click to enlarge

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson committed the United States to an indefinite military presence in Syria Wednesday, citing a range of policy goals that extend far beyond the defeat of the Islamic State as conditions for American troops to go home.

But a crisis unfolding on the Syria-Turkey border that threatens to embroil the U.S. military in a wider regional conflict underscored how hard it will be for the relatively small U.S. presence in Syria to influence the outcome of the conflict there.

Speaking in a major Syria-policy address hosted at Stanford University by the Hoover Institution, Tillerson listed vanquishing al-Qaida, ousting Iran and securing a peace settlement that excludes President Bashar Assad as among the goals of a continued presence in Syria of about 2,000 American troops currently deployed in a Kurdish-controlled corner of northeastern Syria.

His comments represented the most comprehensive and ambitious articulation of Washington’s often-contradictory policy in Syria since President Donald Trump took office a year ago, and they underline the extent to which the war against the Islamic State has inevitably also entangled the United States in the region’s other conflicts.

The U.S. troops in northeastern Syria were initially deployed during the Obama presidency to aid local Kurdish forces in the fight against the Islamic State. Their presence now appears to be evolving into a wider regional policy aimed, among its goals, at fulfilling the Trump administration’s promises to get tough on Iran.

Continues …

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