Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was against complete withdrawal
In a major shift in his Middle East policy, US President Donald Trump has insisted that U.S. forces would pull out of Syria “very soon” and argued about Washington’s waste of $7 trillion in West Asian wars.
While addressing industrial workers in Ohio on Thursday Mr. Trump said U.S. forces were close to securing all of the territory that the Islamic State group once claimed. “We’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now,” he promised. This was responded by people’s applause.
Trump was quoted saying, “Very soon — very soon we’re coming out. We’re going to have 100% of the caliphate, as they call it — sometimes referred to as ‘land’ —taking it all back quickly, quickly,” he said. “But we’re going to be coming out of there real soon. Going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be.”
President Trump did not elaborate who the others might take care of Syria. However, Iranian advisors backed with Russian air force have been supporting Syrian forces in defeating terror groups.
Trump’s sudden announcement of US forces’ withdrawal from Syria has surprised all, friends and foes.
Trump’s announcement without taking Department of State or Pentagon on board was clearly indicated Heather Nauert, Spokesperson of State Department publicly admitted about her ignorance. Responding to a question during her official briefing as if she was aware of any decision for the U.S. to pull out of Syria, she responded, “I am not, no. No.”
The U.S. has more than 2,000 military personnel in Syria. Recently forces from Turkey and US were in standoff at Afrin, where Turkey captured some of the areas removing US supported separatist Kurds.
Syria, Iran and Russia believe that US forces were imparting training to the IS militants and other anti-Bashar forces. However, US claims that its forces were working with local militia groups to defeat the Islamic State while trying to keep out of Syria’s broader civil war.
Mr. Trump’s announcement to withdraw from Syria goes against new U.S. Syria strategy announced in January by then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has since been sacked. He argued that U.S. forces must remain engaged in Syria to prevent the IS and Al-Qaeda from returning and to deny Iran a chance “to further strengthen its position in Syria”.
He had also warned that “a total withdrawal of American personnel at this time would restore Assad and continue his brutal treatment against his own people.”
Donald Trump posted his words through tweet post along with video of Ohio meeting.
Washington spent trillions building up foreign countries while allowing OUR OWN infrastructure to fall into a state of total disrepair. No more! It’s time to REBUILD, and we will do it with American WORKERS, American GRIT, and American PRIDE! pic.twitter.com/Q9rPZi2D2s
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2018
Marwan Kabalan, a fellow at Qatar based Arab Centre for Research and Policy Analysis and former Dean at Faculty of International Relations & Diplomacy at University of Kalamoon in Damascus told Aljazeera that withdrawal of US forces from Syria would be similar to what Americans did in 2003 by ousting Saddam regime in Iraq and gaving it to Iran in a “silver plate”.
Several western and Middle East experts believe that US committed a blunder by removing its ally Saddam Hussein in Iraq which had benefited Iran the most. Present Iraqi government is considered to be the closest ally with Iran. Similarly Syria depends more on Iran for decades. Iranian military advisors played important role in defeating Daesh (IS) terror in both the countries.