US President Donald Trump—in accordance with instructions from Israel—has reversed his previously declared policy of withdrawal from Syria and committed to an indefinite “military effort” in the country to remove Bashar al-Assad, the Washington Post has reported.
Trump, who “just five months ago said he wanted ‘to get out’ of Syria and bring U.S. troops home soon, has agreed to a new strategy that indefinitely extends the military effort there,” the newspaper reported.
There are already 2,200 US army personnel on the ground in Syria—a fact almost completely ignored by the controlled media, and now there are plans to increase this number and to look at other sanctions against the Syrian government, all in line with Israel’s demand that the Iranians be kicked out and Assad deposed.
“Although the military campaign against the Islamic State has been nearly completed, the administration has redefined its goals to include the exit of all Iranian military and proxy forces from Syria,” the Washington Post continued, justifying the move as the “establishment of a stable, nonthreatening government acceptable to all Syrians and the international community.”
“The new policy is we’re no longer pulling out by the end of the year,” said James Jeffrey, a retired senior Foreign Service officer who last month was named Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “representative for Syria engagement.”
Jeffrey said U.S. forces are to remain in the country to ensure an Iranian departure and the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State. “That means we are not in a hurry,” he said.
Asked whether Trump had signed off on what he called “a more active approach,” Jeffrey said, “I am confident the president is on board with this.” This is of course an understatement: Trump has slavishly followed Israel’s demands with regard to Syria from the very beginning, ordering bombing raids on Syria over non-existent “chemical attacks” and breaking the “nuclear deal” with Iran.
Jeffrey declined to describe any new military mission. But he emphasized what he said would be a “major diplomatic initiative” in the United Nations and elsewhere, and the use of economic tools, presumably including more sanctions on Iran and Russia and the stated U.S. refusal to fund reconstruction in Assad-controlled Syria, the Washington Post added.
Pompeo first listed Iran’s withdrawal from Syria as one of 12 U.S. demands of Tehran in a May speech at the neocon Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. He said that US policy is not that “Assad must go,” repeating the endless lies that Assad was someone who “threaten[s] his neighbors,” “abuse[s] his own citizens,” and “allow[s] chemical weapons”—all claims which have been proven to be false.
Jeffrey went on to exaggerate and lie even further, claiming that the terrorists now holed up in their last outpost in Idlib were not Islamist fanatics from around the world, that “they’re not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator.”
In actual fact, as reported by the BBC, the groups currently making up the “armed forces” in Idlib are the following:
- Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, a jihadist alliance)
- National Liberation Front (Turkish-backed rebel alliance)
- Hurras al-Din (pro-al-Qaeda HTS offshoot)
- Turkistan Islamic Party (Chinese Uighur-dominated jihadist group)
“HTS is the largest and best armed group in Idlib, which means the other small groups follow its lead—even if they say they are separate,” the BBC said.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham forces in Idlib: these are the US’s “freedom fighters” in Idlib.
The other key force is the National Liberation Front (NLF), which was formed earlier this year by rebel factions wanting to counter HTS. It includes hard-line Islamist groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and the Nour al-Din al-Zinki Brigades as well as the “Free Syrian Army,” which the US and UK continue to claim is a “moderate” group supposedly opposed to the Islamists with which it is now in a formal alliance.
Jeffrey is therefore blatantly lying to claim that the forces in Idlib are not Islamic terrorists but “freedom fighters”—and the double fact that he can even say such a thing and not be challenged by the controlled media shows exactly how twisted and treacherous the US government and the establishment become.