Why Trump is holding off on withdrawing troops from Syria

Sputnik  Mikhail Klimentyev      
                                               Alexei Sarabyev

But Trump has signaled to his advisers that ideally, he wants all troops out within six months, according to three USA officials-a finale that would come shortly before the United States midterm elections.

"In contrast, the security bureaucracies want to hold Syrian territory captured from the Islamic State, use it as a bargaining chip in any peace negotiations, and train Syrian groups to "stabilize" it", he said. However, US troops never were invited by the Syrian government and have been labeled as an occupying force. And his withdrawal could also precipitate the comeback of the Islamic State.

Trump has directed the Pentagon to plan a withdrawal from Syria over several months, backing away from an initial order for an immediate withdrawal, The New York Times reported this week. "ISIS remains a transregional threat, and the 71-nation coalition that's fighting ISIS is committed to ensuring that we combat violent extremism wherever it is". Kenneth McKenzie Jr., Director of Joint Staff, said according to the U.S. Department of Defence.

What should Trump be doing in Syria? Above all, an American withdrawal would allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to be the biggest player and maybe even the only one in Syria, which would have repercussions for Syrians and the region as a whole.

In a sometimes-tense meeting of his national security team, Trump complained at length about the amount of American money being spent in the region, which he said had produced nothing for the United States in return, according to senior administration officials.

More news: World Health Day today

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.

Indeed, others see Trump balancing campaign promises to get the U.S. out of Middle East wars and to compel allies to do more (and pay more) for their own security against a pledge to defeat ISIS. This has put the USA in a position of confrontation with Turkey. Turkey fears the formation of a Kurdish state on its border. According to the Institute for the Study of War and the American Enterprise Institute's Critical Threats Project, "Al Qaeda.is more risky than ISIS", because although they share "the same aims as ISIS, including the intention of attacking and destroying the West", al-Qaeda is less focused on developing a physical caliphate and more on "insinuating itself inside Sunni insurgencies by harnessing popular grievances. while continuing to build capabilities that could be turned against the West". "So in that sense, nothing has actually changed". According to this interpretation, he no longer feels constrained by subordinates-such as outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and outgoing national security adviser H.R. McMaster-who have annoyed Trump with advice counseling him to go in some other direction.

Trump is already planning to disassociate the U.S. from backing the Iranian nuclear deal and may agree with the Saudi desire of stemming Iran's influence stretching from Baghdad to Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea by keeping USA troops in the Sunni-controlled regions of Syria and Iraq. Also on the list: US NATO ally Turkey, which has chafed at US support for Syrian Kurds.

This is a major concern for experts, at a time when the Assad regime and its Iranian and Russian allies increasingly appear to be on the path to victory in Syria's brutal seven-year civil war.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are exclusively those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Related News:

Most liked

Nishino takes charge of Japan
This time the JFA parted ways with the Bosnian after a crisis meeting decided Halilhodzic's time with Japan was up. Japan newspaper, Hochi Daily also reported that a sense of unity was lacking between the players and the coach.

Chelsea 1-1 West Ham: 5 talking points
David Moyes made a correct call in switching to two forwards up front with Joao Mario supporting them from behind. Rice, 19, had a starring role as the Hammers eased their relegation fears with a 1-1 draw against Chelsea.

Hungary's Orban seeks third term in keenly-watched poll
Some 8 million voters cast their votes in more than 10,000 polling stations from 6 am (0400 GMT) local time until 7 pm (1700 GMT). A poll on Friday put Fidesz on 46% among decided voters, more than 20 points ahead of their nearest rivals Jobbik, on 19%.

Victim identified in deadly fire at Trump Tower
He lived on the 50th floor of the 58-story building. "The rest of the building had a considerable amount of smoke". Four firefighters were injured while putting out the fire, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

Palestinian dies of wounds sustained by Israeli fire
Israel's use of live ammunition has drawn condemnation from human rights groups, which say it is illegal under worldwide law. On Saturday, the European Union raised questions over whether Israeli troops engaged in "proportionate use of force".

US, China stay guarded on talks amid trade war fears
Any national preparations made now for said trade war will bring on the very catastrophic economic adjustment it seeks to hedge. That was backed up by Trump's chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who said tariff negotiations with China had not started.

Driver of vehicle that drove into German crowd has killed himself
We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. Local authorities said approximately 30 people were injured in the accident. "We wish the injured a quick recovery".

Oxlade-Chamberlain Calls Anfield Atmosphere the Best He's Ever Played In
He also claimed Jürgen Klopp's team were ideally suited to the Champions League and the latter stages in particular. Thierry Henry, former Arsenal striker and coach, was just one of Oxlade-Chamberlain's critics .

Kyle Lowry denies National Championship game affected his play vs. Cavs
For the red-hot 76ers, it's the one just in front of them: LeBron James and the reigning East champs from Cleveland on Friday. But the night wasn't all bad for the third-year guard as he managed to haul in a game-high nine rebounds.

Silver! Cyclists earn first Games medal for NZ
Horton became Australia's first 400 metres freestyle victor at the Commonwealth Games since the great Ian Thorpe with his victory. Uganda's star runner Joshua Cheptegei says he is hungry for a gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia .

DNA test reveals fertility's doctor's dark secret, lawsuit alleges
In August, Rowlette was helping to sort through her parents' old papers when she ran across her birth certificate. The lawsuit says that Rowlette was "horrified" and called her parents in a panic to discuss the revelation. "Ms.

Pakistani PM to visit Afghanistan in a bid to strengthen troubled ties
Pakistan had brokered the first round of direct talks between the fragile Afghan government and Taliban in Islamabad in July 2015. Afghan president welcomed the prime minister and members of Pakistani delegation.

Minnesotans Hoping to Lead Minnesota-Duluth to Hockey National Championship
I'm still on a steady stream of drugs, but I feel decent most days. "I got a big chunk of it and it kind of slipped through". The Bulldogs earned another chance to show the world that they're, possibly, the best team in the game on Saturday night.

Amit Shah meets party's legislators from Maharashtra
Without losing their patience and decorum, they should redouble their efforts to build a "New India" by 2022, he said. Exuding confidence, he said the people will once again show faith in Modi and vote the BJP to power in 2019.

Rift among Syria's Islam Army rebels delays evacuation from Damascus' Douma district
The Syrian government dispatched more than 50 buses to Douma to take the rebels out, SANA reported. There was no immediate comment from the Army of Islam.