Biden has no plans to end illegal US military presence in Syria: Report
Disregarding earlier claims to end America’s “forever wars” in West Asia, the administration of President Joe Biden, officials say, have no plans to withdraw American forces from Syria, whose government has denounced the US military’s presence and operations on its soil as illegal.
A senior Biden administration official was quoted by an American news outlet as saying that roughly 900 US forces will remain in Syria to continue supporting and advising the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to fight Daesh terrorist group.
“I don’t anticipate any changes right now to the mission or the footprint in Syria,” the US official told Politico on the condition of anonymity.
“In Syria, we’re supporting Syrian Democratic Forces in their fight against Daesh,” the senior administration official claimed. “That’s been quite successful, and that’s something that we’ll continue.”
The remarks came a month after the US said it would maintain its troop deployment in energy-rich northeastern Syria and prop up SDF militants against the Damascus government, which has been engaged in a heavy battle against terrorists since the onset of the Syrian crisis in 2011.
“There is no clean, safe, uncontroversial way to leave, and Biden seems to have made clear he doesn’t want to have to handle unnecessary crises in Syria when he has bigger things on his plate,” said Aron Lund, a fellow at the Century Foundation.
The report about US troop deployment in Syria comes amid an ongoing controversy over US military presence in Iraq.
President Biden and Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi announced on Monday that the US mission in Iraq will transition from combat to “advisory” role by the end of the year.
“The delegations decided, following recent technical talks, that the security relationship will fully transition to a training, advising, assisting, and intelligence-sharing role, and that there will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021,” the two countries said in a joint statement on Monday.