Trump scales back USA goals in Syria, leaves future to others

Trump scales back USA goals in Syria, leaves future to others

Trump scales back USA goals in Syria, leaves future to others

The president had opened the meeting with a tirade about US intervention in Syria and the Middle East more broadly, repeating lines from public speeches in which he's denounced previous administrations for "wasting" $7 trillion in the region over the past 17 years.

And the role of Russian Federation is another element to the complexities of fighting ISIS.

This includes a focus on a small militant force along the Euphrates River on Syria's border with Iraq. Now he has agreed they can stay long enough to complete the elimination of several pockets of Islamic State militants and to train local forces to police the large area controlled by USA allies.

"The president has actually been very good in not giving us a specific timeline, so that's a tool that we can use to our effect as we move forward", Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, said this week. The US withdrawal from Syria would mean a certain confrontation between Turkey and the Kurds, which would also mean an increase in the confrontation between Israel and Iran.

Trump, however, has signaled to his advisers that ideally, he wants all troops out within six months, according to three US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss what transpired in a meeting with the president.

Another concern is that coalition operations against the Islamic State have paused.

This photo provided February 2, 2018, by the Syrian rebel group Army of Islam, shows one of its fighters firing his weapon during clashes with government forces in Housh al-Dhawahira in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus, Syria. Moreover, Obama also used the United States military to block the Islamic State* terror group's direct threat to the Kurds in northeast Iraq, Brenner added. Other clashes between the two sides brought the government forces' death toll to 204 in 23 days, the Observatory said.

"Escalation soon occurred as Obama was pressured by his generals, the Israelis, the Saudis - who along with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were backing the Islamic State and al-Qaeda/Nusra Front - and the Israeli lobby in the United States", Brenner said.

But they fear that an American withdrawal will leave them unable to hold on to much of that.

"But it is not, with Trump making clear that he wants to 'let the other people take care of it now, '" Ross said.

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.

Urging him to slow down, Trump's aides have been emphasizing that IS fighters remain active in Syria, evidence that Trump's own, publicly stated objective-the total defeat of IS-has yet to be met. Officials said the U.S. is tracking two pockets where IS remains viable-one in the Middle Euphrates River Valley region, another along the Iraq-Syria border. "(The former has been a clear United States objective since 2003)", Brenner said.

Those troops have done their job in routing ISIS from its strongholds in Syria, he says, but now that the ISIS remnants have "evolved back into a traditional insurgent force", there is little such a small deployment can do. "We are going to complete that mission". The problem, according to a State Department official who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations, is that the extremist group is entrenched in the remaining territory it holds in Syria.

Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, who plays a major role on national security policy in the Republican caucus, warned on Fox News Sunday that a withdrawal from Syria was the worst decision Trump could make.

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