Introduction – Feb 4, 2019
The U.S. obviously has no intention of leaving the Middle East. First it used ISIS as a reason for its military presence. Now the ISIS has been all but defeated — by a combined Russian, Iranian, Syrian campaign with little help from America — it needs a new reason for keeping its military in the region.
So now it claims it needs troops on the ground in Iraq to “watch” Iran.
The Iraqis are unlikely to accept this at face value. Such is the deep distrust after decades of U.S.-led sanctions and occupation that Trump is going to have to find a better reason.
The proposed U.S. withdrawal from Syria hasn’t even got underway and Trump has already revised the timetable. Initially the plan was to withdraw from Syria within thirty days. That’s now changed into a “phased” withdrawal and we would not be surprised if U.S. troops are still in Syria six months from now, maybe in even greater numbers.
Indeed, according to the NYT report below:
“The number of American troops in Syria has actually increased in recent weeks to more than 3,000…”
Although the NYT assures readers that this increase is standard practice, as more troops are needed to “carry out the process of pulling out”. There’s an obvious reluctance for the U.S. military to make a clean break from the Middle East, no doubt in part due to Zionist pressure. Ed.
Trump Calls for Keeping Troops in Iraq to Watch Iran, Possibly Upending ISIS Fight
By Eric Schmitt and Alissa J. Rubin – New York Times Feb 3, 2019
President Trump plans to keep United States troops in Iraq to monitor and maintain pressure on neighboring Iran, committing to an American military presence in the region’s war zones even as he moves to withdraw forces from Syria and Afghanistan.
“I want to be able to watch Iran,” Mr. Trump said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “We’re going to keep watching and we’re going to keep seeing and if there’s trouble, if somebody is looking to do nuclear weapons or other things, we’re going to know it before they do.”
Mr. Trump’s comments come as the United States has quietly been negotiating with Iraq for weeks to allow perhaps hundreds of American commandos and support troops now operating in Syria to shift to bases in Iraq and strike the Islamic State from there. Military leaders are seeking to maintain pressure on the militant group as the president fundamentally reorders policy toward Syria and toward Afghanistan, where peace talks with the Taliban are underway.
But senior American officers and diplomats said Mr. Trump’s comments could undercut the delicate negotiations in Iraq by inflaming fears among the Iraqis that the moves would be a guise to check Iran, potentially straining ties with Baghdad and weakening the ability of the United States to respond to Islamic State remnants in Syria.
If the Americans try to bring more troops to Iraq, said Jawad al-Musawi, a member of Parliament, “there will be an escalation in the opposition to them.”
“There is distrust of the American government — even if they say they are coming to protect us against Daesh,” he said, using the Arabic word for the Islamic State, “the real reason they will be coming is to hit Iran.”