Friday, January 19, 2018

US Plans to Prevent Syria's Stabilization as Sovereign State - Former UK Envoy

Sputnik spoke to former UK ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, to ask whether any further US involvement in the Syrian conflict is only likely to exacerbate division in the country, thus perpetuating the war.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested on Wednesday that the Trump administration would be taking on an open-ended military commitment to Syria as part of a stated strategy to prevent the regrowth of Daesh and to forge a new 'solution' that hopes to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power.

Sputnik: The US — under both the Obama and Trump administrations — has long framed its objective in Syria rather narrowly to the defeat of Daesh. Now that the terrorist group's so-called caliphate is effectively gone, and there are forces in the country — such as the Syrian Arab Army — capable of destroying any possible Daesh resurgence, why does the US need to remain?

Peter Ford: Well it doesn't is the simple and obvious truth. In its own eyes, it needs to remain because Trump is being accused of having lost Syria to the Russians. This is, quite simply, now a power play by the US to show that it still has influence in Syria and the wider Middle East, and it's part of the US power game against Iran. It has nothing to do with removing terrorism from Syria, nothing to do with humanitarian issues, nothing to do with democracy in Syria. It's quite simply arm wrestling that the United States wishes to engage in with Russia or any other power that dares to question, in the slightest way, American pre-eminence in the world.

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