(ANTIMEDIA Op-ed) — According to Newsweek, despite calls from Russia and Iran for the U.S. to abandon its illegal invasion of Syria, the Pentagon has just announced its intention to maintain its troop presence in the country even after ISIS is successfully defeated.
“We are going to maintain our commitment on the ground as long as we need to, to support our partners and prevent the return of terrorist groups,” Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon told Agence France-Presse.
“To ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS, the coalition must ensure it cannot regenerate, reclaim lost ground, or plot external attacks,” Pahon added.
The U.S. reportedly has at least 1,723 troops in Syria, up from the 1,251 figure reported in June.
Even if these concerns regarding ISIS are genuine, one should wonder why the U.S. feels responsible for ensuring that ISIS cannot regenerate, reclaim lost ground, or plot further attacks. The premise completely undermines Syria’s sovereignty and the competency of its allies, who are more than capable of defeating ISIS without external western intervention. In fact, western intervention has not provided Syria with nearly as much of the stability or security it claims to have.
A report published in April by the London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, a leading security analysis agency, found a whopping 43 percent of ISIS’ battles between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017, were fought against the Syrian military and its allies (including Iran, Russia, and pro-government militias). It is a blatant lie that these countries need America’s help to do what they are already doing, when American-backed forces accounted for a mere 17 percent of the action.
And what do we know about the U.S. troops already stationed in Syria? To put it bluntly, we know very little, but what we have been able to ascertain should be enough to make the ordinary American question the role the United States is playing across the geopolitical chessboard.
According to Rolling Stone:
“The troops on the ground include personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps, but the government won’t say exactly how many, where they’re located, what precisely they’re doing or how long they’ll stay. A few have died and a good deal more have been injured in combat, but like almost everything else about the U.S. presence in Syria, the number of wounded is classified. Despite the scale of the operation, the Pentagon insists on black-ops secrecy, refusing to embed reporters, and channeling all information through spokesmen in Baghdad. Turkey and Iraq have imposed a blockade on Syria that prevents most independent reporters from getting anywhere near American forces on the battlefield, and soldiers are apparently under orders not to answer questions or allow themselves to be photographed.” [emphasis added]
Not to mention that the U.S. already has at least fourteen bases in Syria.
According to Army Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell, the Marine fire blasting ISIS was so intense that the barrels on two of the Howitzers burned out, making them unsafe to use. The U.S. was allegedly firing on ISIS in Raqqa “every minute of every hour” in order to keep the pressure up on the terrorist group.
Who authorized this invasion of Syria? And who authorized American troops to be on the front lines in another war in a country that has branded American troops as invaders?
But because the troops are fighting against ISIS, it doesn’t matter, right? International law is worthless, as long as we are fighting ISIS (in a country that is already fighting them without our help). Just imagine if Syria or Russia did this to the United States — invaded America and set up bases under the guise of fighting terrorism. No self-respecting American would accept this. The U.S. country puts travel bans on brown people for a reason.
Further, it was admittedly Washington’s policies that placed ISIS squarely in Syria in the first place by sitting on its hands and allowing ISIS to gain as much territory as it could in order justify a military intervention. The BBC has confirmed that the U.S. has granted free passage to ISIS fighters when it suits America’s warped foreign policy strategy.
No one is debating these developments in Congress or in the U.N., and these violations of international law are going unchallenged. If this isn’t enough to wake up the average American, then perhaps the world needs to understand that the reason these troops will stay in Syria has nothing at all to do with ISIS, but is instead aimed at creating a buffer between Iran and the rest of the Middle East, which could lay the groundwork for an all-out confrontation with Iran and its allies.