As per a Washington Post report, the United States is planning to keep a significant military contingent in Syria long after the defeat of the Islamic State/ISIS, which was the initial “goal” that justified an illegal deployment of ground troops in a sovereign country. The reason? Well, according to WaPo, if the US would withdraw from Syria, Iran and the Syrian government “would win”. So, the new administration is now expanding its goals in the region, including a potentially open ended commitment, end quote, to support SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) which is dominated by Kurds.
As the defeat of ISIS is now a done deal in Syria, the Trump administration falsely claimed last week via Mad Dog Mattis that American troops deployed in Syria are not violating the country’s sovereignty, just because they’re fighting ISIS and they have a mandate from the United Nations to do it:
You know, the UN said that … basically we can go after ISIS. And we’re there to take them out.
dixit US Defense Secretary James Mattis last week. The WaPo piece reads:
“An abrupt US withdrawal could complete Assad’s sweep of Syrian territory and help guarantee his political survival – an outcome that would constitute a win for Iran, his close ally. To avoid that outcome, US officials say they plan to maintain a US troop presence in northern Syria… and establish new local governance, apart from the Assad government, in those areas,”
The truth is that the US has a long history of skipping United Nations approvals for its numerous military interventions, but now it’s almost official, as various sources told WaPo that American boots on the ground in Syria are used as leverage in dealing with Syria’s president and his allies. If this is true, it means that the US is now actively promoting Kurdish separatism just to spite Tehran and Damascus, while the talks about preserving Syria’s territorial integrity are nothing more than a deflection. To quote again from WaPo, this is Nicholas Heras of the Washington-based Center for a New American Security:
“The conditions are there for the counter-ISIS campaign to morph into a counter-Iran campaign. By placing no timeline on the end of the US mission… the Pentagon is creating a framework for keeping the US engaged in Syria for years to come.”