Prolonged US Military Presence in Syria? “We’re not Just Going to Walk Away Right Now”. James Mattis

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. hopes to prolong its military presence in Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) areas in the north of Syria. Current United States Secretary of Defense, serving in the Cabinet of Donald Trump, James Norman Mattis proved this fact saying ‘We’re not just going to walk away right now.’

Officially the U.S. strength in Syria stood at approximately 500 troops, including hundreds of additional Special Operations forces, forward air controllers, artillery crews and others. They basically lend support to militants and Kurdish militias.

Besides, the Americans unlawfully set up a military base not far from Syrian-Jordan border in At-Tanf in April 2017. The military instructors from the U.S., Great Britain, and France train New Syrian Army’s radicals for fighting official Syrian government instead of eliminating ISIS there.

By setting up the military garrison the U.S. military command created a 55 km buffer zone over it that allowed them to prevent a UN humanitarian convoy from being admitted to the area in early November. As a result, 50,000 refugees from Raqqa and Deir-Ezzor in Rukban camp were left without basic necessities. The refugees living in that desert camp in southeast Syria practically are being used by the United States to shield its military base.

Today a number of mainstream media discuss a military future of the U.S. Command in Syria. In particular, British Reuters reported that the Pentagon is likely to announce in the coming days that there are about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

However, the issue of subsequent deploying of the U.S. troops in Syria remains. According to some diplomatic sources, the U.S. Congress completely upholds Trump advocating early withdrawal of the troops from Syria just after ISIS is rooted. But it totally contradicts Pentagon’s initiatives.

Probably, the U.S. Congress shares not only Trump’s but also people’s point of view on the issue of illegal American presence under the international law and lack of military successes against the background of vast resources spent. The U.S. Department of State claims the US-led international coalition have already wasted $22 billion tax dollars trying to beat ISIS both in Iraq and Syria.

In such a situation prolonged U.S. troops’ presence on the territory of the sovereign state only plays into the hands of high-ranking Pentagon’s chiefs, army contractors, and neocons. It seems the U.S. DoD doesn’t take care of the money of common American taxpayers to say nothing of thousands of Syrians have been dying since U.S. presence in the country.

Last summer News Week reported more than 5 thousand civilians had been killed as a result of indiscriminate airstrikes of the international coalition form October 2014 till June 2017.

Hopefully, Washington and the Pentagon respecting the sovereignty of independent state and international law will find a common language and withdraw the contingent as Damascus calls for, at least after ISIS is completely defeated. Maybe then all those responsible for an extra-budgetary strain and international crimes against humanity would be brought to justice.

Sophie Mangal is special investigative correspondent at Inside Syria Media Center where this article was originally published.

Featured image is from the author.

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Articles by: Sophie Mangal

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