Political Observation - The Withdrawal of US Troops from Northern Syria

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - The Withdrawal of US Troops from Northern Syria

Turkish military activities in northern Syria have without a shadow of a doubt dealt a heavy blow to the American initiative to establish the Rojava province; this constitutes the chief cause of America’s problems with Turkey and the main obstacle in the relations between the two countries.

America wishes to forge ahead with the Rojava Kurdish entity initiative while keeping Turkey under NATO’s tutelage and American custodianship. However, this issue has seemingly become complicated amid the Turkish rulers’ penchant to seek independence in their political decisions and what it entails in terms of protecting Turkish national security by eradicating the presence of the US and Western-backed Kurdish parties from northern Syria and Iraq. Since America is reluctant to engage in an overt confrontation with Turkey like she has done with Russia and China, she has resorted to a policy of deception and disconcertion in some of the statements vis-à-vis her relations with Turkey. It is in this context that we ought to perceive the statements made by President Donald Trump in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emanuel Macron. He stressed “the need to intensify cooperation with Turkey with respect to shared strategic challenges in Syria.” Then came the statement of the French presidency on the “mediation between Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after a delegation of the latter had visited the Elysée and news of French troops deployment in Manbij had spread. This was followed by a host of fresh statements on freezing $200 million that had been earmarked for the SDF and on America’s withdrawal from Syria. Finally, Donald Trump announced on 3 April 2018: "I want to bring our troops back home…… We'll be making a decision very quickly" adding “Saudi Arabia is very interested in our decision. And I said, well, you know, you want us to stay maybe you'll have to pay."

If these statements and movements related to Syria were scrutinised, one would conclude they were designed to disconcert observers, politicians and even states; such statements add ambiguity to an already vague and cagey US policy in the region in general and Syria in particular. In fact, America is deliberately seeking to generate this political and strategic ambiguity in the statements and positions of her officials in order to achieve the outputs of her colonialist policies by increasing the number of military bases and luring her partners, such as France, into assuming the roles of the policeman in order to redraw the map of the region.

Hence, the basis of perceiving US policy in Syria and other areas is observing the moves and relations of America on the ground, irrespective of what Donald Trump tweets from time to time. The most conspicuous example for this is Donald Trump’s talk about withdrawing from Syria while US troops have been consolidating their military presence for weeks in the al-Tanaf base southeast Syria with twenty bases east of the Euphrates near Deir ez-Zor and in the areas dominated by the SDF in the northeast of Syria; America has also set up a new base for her troops in the area of al-Aoun near the region of the Euphrates Shield north of the city of Manbij as well as the recent American and French fortifications to confront any Turkish operation that may include the city.

This contradiction between Donald Trump’s statements and the activities of his administration on the ground was exposed by Russian foreign minister who said during a press conference on 24 March 2018: “What is happening on the ground indicates that Washington continues to consolidate her presence in Syria and contradicts the statements of the American President”, adding “America is seriously entrenching her presence in the eastern bank of the Euphrates river and expansive areas of Arab lands… She is also establishing and financing a number of local government committees affiliated to her.”

Therefore, a US troops withdrawal is unlikely since America is increasing her bases in the north and the east of Syria according to a speech delivered by former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on 17 January 2018 in which he said that US troops would not be withdrawn from Syria since America did not wish to repeat the mistake of 2011 in Iraq. He added that not only would the presence of US troops in Syria achieve the total defeat of Daesh but also resist the influence of Iran and would eventually lead to pushing Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

Nevertheless, if a US withdrawal were to take place, it would be merely partial and from Manbij on the basis of security arrangements with Turkey. By doing so, Trump will have achieved a lucrative financial outcome from blackmailing the Saudi ruler bin Salman and at the same time he will have alleviated the tension in the US-Turkish relations. Moreover, Donald Trump would be able to entrench his forces east of the Euphrates and to fight to the last SDF soldier and PKK militia to halt the Turkish intervention in that region and facilitate the rise of a Kurdish self-rule under US protection.

In this case, America will exploit the Western powers partaking in the international alliance, namely France, Britain and Germany as well as her agents in the region, namely the UAE, Saudi and Egypt, in order to concentrate the Rojava entity which would be Kurdish on the surface but in essence, it would be another "Israel".

The recent Arab League Summit meeting, during which Turkey was condemned for her intervention in Syria, has revealed that bin Salman, bin Rashid and Abdul Fattah al-Sisi represent the new version of Trojan Horses. The Kuffar are openly roaming the Muslims’ lands, violating the blood of their children, concentrating their influence by fragmenting the lands and sowing the seeds of fitnah; and more importantly, attempting to destroy Islam on which the salvation of the Muslims rests, the inviolability of their lives depends and from which the source of their might emanates by waging a relentless and unprecedented onslaught. All this is occurring while the children of the Ummah remain oblivious to the fundamental plane of the struggle, namely the struggle between Islam and Kufr rather than the independence of one country or the victory of one sect. The salvation will materialise once we have united on the basis of our Aqeedah and once we have resumed our life according to the rules of our Shari’ah by establishing the Islamic State which America and the Kufr states are fighting tooth and nail to prevent its rise.

6 Sha’aban 1439
22 April 2018