Syria troops prepare for anti-ISIL offensive near capital: monitor


"Our mission isn't over, and we're going to complete that mission", said Brett McGurk, the United States envoy to the global anti-IS coalition.

President Donald Trump surprised his top aides last week when he said he wanted US troops out of Syria "very soon".

How are the messages mixed?

According to The Washington Post, Defense Secretary James Mattis is also not on board with Trump and "has repeatedly said. that us troops would be staying in Syria for the foreseeable future to guarantee stability and political resolution to the civil war".

In a White House meeting later Tuesday with Mattis, outgoing national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other top aides, Trump ordered his national security team to craft plans to pull out of Syria and to push Gulf Arab allies - including Saudi Arabia - to take over responsibility for rebuilding and providing security in the country's east, perhaps by sending their own troops.

"This base belongs to American special forces, and we are preparing for the other base as well", Shiyar Gerde, a senior MMC member, said.

"I know well his [Mattis's] strategy, but there is not one thing on his list that is attainable", Davis says.

"I want to get out", Trump said Tuesday.

In a sometimes-tense meeting of his national security team, Trump complained at length about the amount of American money being spent in the region, which he said had produced nothing for the U.S. in return, according to senior administration officials. ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State. Turkey fears the formation of a Kurdish state on its border.

Unlike the USA and its allies, Iran and Russian Federation have government-authorized advisory presence in Syria. Israel has said it can not tolerate the presence of Iranian bases near its northern border; a US evacuation would remove one of the main obstacles to Tehran's military expansion. If our goal is to protect Israel and constrain Iran, withdrawal from Syria would do the opposite.

The three nations have been pushing their own diplomatic track for resolving Syria's civil war, even as the USA tries to rejuvenate United Nations-led talks.

In a transparent effort to flatter Trump, General McKenzie contrasted the current posture in Syria with timelines like those set by the Obama administration in Afghanistan, where, he said, U.S. forces "operated against a timeline that was known to the enemy".

About 2,000 US troops are stationed there in support of Kurdish and Arab militias allied with Washington. Also on the list: US NATO ally Turkey, which has chafed at US support for Syrian Kurds. He reiterated this week that Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia should compensate the United States for its military presence in the region, as if American troops were nearly mercenaries for hire. But the Trump administration has the advantage of having seen the disastrous consequences of previous USA passivity; and Obama's State Department did at least mount a vigorous diplomatic effort to end the bloodshed. "The people in the administration who understand Israel's security concerns are consoling themselves that they've got all the firepower in place if and when they're needed".

But President Donald Trump has made no secret of his personal eagerness to wind down American military commitments in the Middle East. Russia, he said, is in Syria as a means of leveraging its influence elsewhere in the world, and is not invested in advancing the interests of Iran.

A further eight civilians were killed on Saturday, the Observatory added. "It really raises the stakes if the Israelis decide they need to respond unilaterally in Syria", he says. "They don't have allies". Already, Trump has put an indefinite hold on $200 million he pledged previously for those operations.

"The Iranians would benefit most were the United States to remove its footprint", he said.

Will we defy President Assad then, with the possibility USA planes and troops could be engaging Syrians, Russians, Iranians and Shiite militias, in a country where we have no right to be?