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Military Says Work Remains Against ISIS in Syria as Trump Urges Exit

10 April, 2018, 20:10 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • A U.S. soldier sits on an armored vehicle on a newly installed position near the tense front line between the U.S-backed Syrian Manbij Military Council and the Turkish-backed fighters in Manbij north Syria Wednesday

Still, some analysts say the quick jitters over Trump's Syria decision are overblown - especially when the diminutive nature of the U.S. deployment to Syria is considered. The rebels must "submit to the condition of the Syrian state: the abductees in exchange for a halt of the military operation", a reporter with al-Ikhbariya said. However, US troops never were invited by the Syrian government and have been labeled as an occupying force.

Also on the losing end of Trump's decision to withdraw: Israel. "ISIS remains a transregional threat, and the 71-nation coalition that's fighting ISIS is committed to ensuring that we combat violent extremism wherever it is".

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPruitt directed staff to approve raises for top aides: report Trump's trade rep: Threat of new tariffs "appropriate response" to China GOP senator on tariff threat: Hopefully Trump is blowing off steam because "this is nuts" MORE's call to withdraw around 2,000 USA troops from Syria over the next five to six months was met with immediate pushback from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the intelligence community, The Associated Press reports.

There is an enormous gulf between this popular antiwar sentiment and the demands of the military-intelligence apparatus, the Democratic and Republican parties, and the corporate media, where there has been near-universal denunciation of Trump's suggestion of a pullout from Syria.

"We're going to keep doing what we're doing until we're told otherwise", he said.

Senior administration officials claim that during a meeting with the National Security Council several hours later, Trump agreed to stop insisting on immediate withdrawal after military commanders said they needed more time to wrap up their mission. Besides the generals on the other side of the table, briefing Trump, his own chief of staff, John Kelly, is a retired Marine Corps general implacably opposed to any "premature" withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan.

No NATO country lost more from a destabilized Syria than Turkey. As a candidate, Trump derided President Barack Obama for that decision and argued that the resulting power vacuum enabled the formation of the Islamic State. While Turkey's place continues to be - and should remain - firmly in NATO, Ankara's current cooperation with Moscow and Tehran over the conflict in Syria is a stark reminder of why the USA will need Turkey if it hopes to see a stable, ISIS-free Syria once US troops come home.

2 2018 shows a general view of a US military base in the al Asaliyah village between the Syrian city of Aleppo and the northern town of Manbij

It would also, they warn, cede the east completely to Damascus' allies Russian Federation and Iran, which have set up a series of bases in the country during seven years of war. "So in that sense, nothing actually has changed". As he transitions to a new national security team, Trump has made clear he wants advisers who agree in principle with his core beliefs.

Inevitably, their strategy appears to be one of partitioning Syria altogether and isolating the Assad government to the western portion of Syria while giving the Kurds the northern portion across northern Syria and uniting it with northern Iraq.

This includes a focus on a small militant force along the Euphrates River on Syria's border with Iraq.

Trump is already planning to disassociate the United States from backing the Iranian nuclear deal and may agree with the Saudi desire of stemming Iran's influence stretching from Baghdad to Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea by keeping USA troops in the Sunni-controlled regions of Syria and Iraq. That has strained ties between the USA and Turkey, long-time North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

Turkey is also a significant source of concern for Washington.

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