America’s intervention into Syria’s prolonged civil war is now more of profitable extractions. In a recent statement to the media, Trump has confirmed his intent to see ‘oil as a good return for the kind of money US has spent in Syria to offer it support.’
His stance is completely opposite to what Pentagon would want to stand its mission in Syria to be.
Keeping on with his business streak, Mr. Donald Trump was candid in suggesting that taking possession of Syrian natural resources would be fair “reimbursement” for the cost of going to war there.
America started with giving weapons and military training to rebel factions who were fighting against the government-led forces supporting President Bashar Assad in 2011.
This started to lose its returns and America has been shifting its help from first retracting reconstruction aid and then military aid in 2017.
It later started supporting only the Kurdish forces but maintaining some kind of presence in the Northeastern parts of Syria, where ISIS had concentrated presence.
Humanitarian help has never seemed to be on Trump’s agenda, while it might have been on Obama’s mind.
There was a congressional vote against Trump’s initial retraction of 10,000 strong military force from strategic observatory points in Syria in October this year. It was considered a huge political mistake.
But the Pentagon on its part continues to hold its stand: US troops were in Syria solely to defeat ISIS in partnership with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
“Securing oil fields is a subordinate task to that mission. And the purpose of that task is to deny ISIS, the revenues from that oil, infrastructure,” Rear Admiral William Byrne, the vice director of the joint staff has shared with key media. “I’m not sure ISIS is going away yet. And that’s why we’re there: to help them go away.”
But it seems Trump had a new card up his sleeve when he decided to keep a thousand troops back in Syria, to man the various smaller oil fields in Northeast Syria.
As far as military planners are concerned, they are right in feeling that ‘such pillage of a foreign country is a violation of the laws of war as applied in the Nuremberg trials and commonly accepted sense.’
Currently, a couple of hundred US soldiers equipped with armored vehicles, have been driving into small-scale oil patches Der Ezzor and Hasakah provinces, with no idea as to what to do there.
Congress granted authorization for use of military force to the US government in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
This was specifically intended for operations against al-Qaida and “associated forces”, which has been used to justify armed intervention across the Middle East.
However, the kind of military support that Trump is using has not only left the Pentagon perplexed, but it is also getting flagged for a sign of autocratic power play over a nation that is desperately trying to get back on its feet.
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