Pentagon: US Policy on Fighting in Syria 'Unchanged'

Sputnik  Mikhail Klimentyev      
                                               Alexei Sarabyev

"In my own travels around the U.S. speaking about Syria, I've yet to meet any audience anywhere that wants us to get more involved in the Syrian civil war".

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 US 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. As president, Trump reiterated during a meeting with Iraq's prime minister that "we should never ever have left".

Approximately 2,000 US troops are on the ground there and Trump has stated publicly that ISIS has almost been destroyed on the battlefield and it's time for those troops to come home.

The Blob-the dominant Washington thinking on national security matters-will push against any inclination by Trump to pull US troops out of Syria.

Developments on the ground, however, suggest it will be hard, if not impossible, to completely snuff out the group before then.

McKenzie said Trump has not given the USA military any timeline.

"Of course there is a military role in this, certainly in the stabilization phase", said General Joseph Votel, the commander of United States troops in the Middle East.

However, it won't mean that United States influence will increase or improve conditions there as Russia, Iran and Turkey have laid out a plan to bring stability to Syria, thereby blunting whatever influence the United States can assert.

The defeat of the caliphate that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed in Syria is near, top Defense Department officials said at the Pentagon today.

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Since then, the town has served as a model of stabilization, but officials are now expressing concern about IS attempting to re-emerge. Some 2,000 USA forces remain on the ground in Syria, allied to the Kurdish-led SDF alliance, which holds the largest swathe of territory still outside the control of the government. While this decision will help address Israel's national security concerns, it also will mean no end in sight to U.S. involvement in the Middle East. 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. The U.S. -led coalition has cut its airstrikes against IS by half since the Kurdish-led fighters moved away from eastern Syria, said coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon. But when Obama took the boot off of the terrorists' necks, it allowed the Islamic State to regroup and reconstitute itself. "That is our mission, and our mission isn't over", McGurk told the audience, citing two large pockets of ISIS fighters numbering several thousand men, and including ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

IS has lost nearly all the territory it once controlled in Syria and Iraq, land that had encompassed a third of those countries. It said the air strikes were likely to have been carried out by Russian war planes. The militants use bad weather, particularly dust storms, to cross the Euphrates, he said.

A timeline of the conflict in Syria, compiled by CNN, can be read here.

But they fear that an American withdrawal will leave them unable to hold on to much of that. So why is Trump now threatening to repeat Obama's mistakes by withdrawing USA forces from Syria?

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.

An Obama-style withdrawal from Syria could also free Iran to establish a massive military presence in southwestern Syria, which could spark a catastrophic war with Israel.

The roughly 2,000 United States troops in Syria will likely be out in a matter of months, White House officials said, while the U.S. role in anything other than finishing the job against ISIS will be scaled back, not expanded. "We've completed that task".

What has the USA gotten for the money and American lives expended in Syria?

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