Pentagon Confirms: U.S. 'Started Process' of Withdrawing Troops from Syria

Pentagon Confirms: U.S. 'Started Process' of Withdrawing Troops from Syria

Kerry Wise
December 20, 2018

Just last week, the US special envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, Brett McGurk, said USA troops would remain in Syria even after the Islamic State was driven from its strongholds. "The United States and our allies stand ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support, and any means of infiltrating our borders". Defense Secretary James Mattis said on December 6, "There's more work to be done".

The immediate withdrawal of US forces flies in the face of the Syria policy that has been outlined repeatedly by senior USA officials over the past several months.

And now Iran will emerge as the big victor of the Trump administration's decision to fully withdraw troops and personnel from Syria.

Adam Kinzinger (R) took issue Wednesday with President Trump's plan to withdraw 2,000 us troops from Syria and the president's declaration of victory over ISIS in the country.

The high-ranking United Nations official went on to say that civilians in Dayr al-Zawr province are being used as "pawns and bargaining chips" in the conflict.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement said he had spoken over the past two days with the USA president and secretary of state about their intention to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.

Mattis and US State Department officials have long fretted about leaving Syria before a peace agreement can be reached to end the country's brutal civil war. But the Pentagon, every bit as much as nature, abhors a vacuum, and so we ended up in Syria.

"The U.S.is the only global power able to stop Russia, Iran, & their terrorist proxies in Syria from total control of a region vital to national security", he tweeted.

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a retiring Republican, told reporters he's heading to the White House Wednesday afternoon to discuss the troops in Syria. An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russian Federation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., issued a statement likening the pending removal of the 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria to President Barack Obama's 2011 withdrawal from Iraq and the subsequent rise of the Islamic State, calling it "a huge Obama-like mistake".

Again on Twitter, Trump alleged that Syrian refugees "pouring into our great country" could belong to the IS group and warned of the "destruction of civilization as we know it".

Screw that. Trump might start becoming president of the United States the day he starts bringing soldiers home from unconstitutional wars that have no clear connection to national security. Ellwood responded: "I strongly disagree".

"We may see a new phase in the Syrian crisis in the coming days, and its features will be shown as Daesh is now limited to specific areas", he said, using another name for IS.

Although the formal objective of the troops is the defeat of the militants, the administration has broadly defined that goal as ensuring that the Islamic State can not reassert itself, that political stability has been achieved under United Nations resolutions for a new constitution and eventual elections, and that all Iranian and Iranian proxy forces have left the country.

The US has about 2,000 troops on the ground in the country, where they are primarily training local forces to combat ISIS.

The Mattis-led USA strategy in Syria empowered Iran, Russia, and Turkey at the expense of our allies. "I would sure hope the President and his advisers are smarter than this".