WP: the US plans an indefinite military presence in Syria

A quick withdrawal would be in the hands of the Assad regime, writes the Washington Post, noting that the indefinite commitment can lead US into conflict with Syria and Iran

The administration of Donald trump extends its mission in Syria, which would not be confined to the defeat of the “Islamic state” and will include a political settlement of the civil war in the country.

This was reported by the Washington Post.

Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper writes that we are talking about potentially indefinite commitments, which may involve US in a conflict with Syria and Iran.

Us officials hope that they will be able to take advantage of the current presence of American troops in the North of Syria to support the Syrian democratic forces (SDS) which are dominated by the Kurds in order to force the President of Syria Bashar al-Assad to make concessions at the peace talks in Geneva, held under the mediation of the United Nations, the newspaper said.

The Geneva talks, which lasted more than three years, but did not bring any results, it is planned to resume in late November.

The sudden withdrawal of American troops would help to Assad to complete the capture of Syria under its control and to ensure his political survival. It would mean a victory for its close ally, Iran, said the Washington Post.

The sources say that in order to avoid such a result, the United States will maintain a military presence in the North of Syria, where the Americans trained SDS and helped them in the fight against “Islamic state” and will create these new districts, local authorities, independent from the Assad government.

American officials emphasize that the preservation of the American military presence in Syria is necessary to destroy the remnants of the “Islamic state” and stabilise settlements for local authorities, writes the Washington Post.

However, one of several officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, called the indefinite American military mission “two-pronged”.

The initial expansion of the sphere of influence of the “Islamic state” has contributed to the power vacuum resulting from the civil war in Syria, the official said. “This vacuum emerged due to the lack of a legitimate political process,” and the militant group or its successors will re-fill it, if the “political aspect” will not be resolved.

Answering the question of how long American troops will remain in Syria, Secretary of defense Jim Mattis said last week that the U.S. is “not going to go there right now” to achieve a political settlement between Assad and the Syrian opposition, says the Washington Post.