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Liberty News ForumLNF Forums HerePolitical Opinion Page - The Hot Seat › Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria (Read 2,176 times)
Demos
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #80 - Sep 25th, 2018 at 11:08am
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Bolton called the missile sales a "significant escalation," but I found the following a little more interesting, at least in terms of our presence in Syria and whether or not that will continue...

Quote:
US warns Russia over missile defense for Syria

...Bolton said the U.S. would keep a military presence in Syria until Iran is no longer active there.

“We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” he said.

Asked about Bolton’s statement that U.S. troops will stay in Syria as long as Iran forces and proxies are there, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon, “Right now our troops inside Syria are there for one purpose, and that’s under the U.N. authorization about defeating ISIS.” He said this includes training local Syrian forces to prevent an ISIS comeback.

Mattis did not explicitly support or dispute Bolton’s statement, although his description of the role and mission of U.S. troops in Syria did not include outlasting Iran.

Pressed to say whether he agreed with Bolton’s statement, Mattis said, “I’ll let Ambassador Bolton speak for himself,” but added later that he had spoken to Bolton twice Monday. “I think we’re on the same sheet of music,” which he said means supporting U.N.-brokered efforts to reach a political settlement. “There is no daylight between his appreciation of the situation and mine.”

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #81 - Sep 28th, 2018 at 11:45am
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Quote:
Bolton Puts Mattis in a Tight Spot on Syria

...In a move that strayed squarely onto Defense Department turf, Bolton declared that the United States will keep a military presence in Syria as long as Iran has forces there. This put him at odds with the Pentagon’s long-standing assertion that the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops are in Syria for one purpose: to ensure the lasting defeat of Islamic State militants.

Mattis now must walk a fine line between the administration’s increasingly hostile rhetoric against Iran, including its regional ambitions, and concerns about U.S. mission creep in Syria.

In reality, Mattis and Bolton likely share similar concerns about Iran, experts say. But the defense secretary has reason to present a more cautious front in Syria. For one thing, lawmakers in Congress are balking at what they see as an illegal expansion of the U.S. mission in Syria, which is legally predicated on a fight against nonstate militant groups, not a country like Iran. At the same time, on the ground, escalation poses a very real risk to U.S. troops from Iranian proxies, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Russian forces...

Mattis’s remarks were not enough to quell congressional backlash. On Wednesday, lawmakers called into question the U.S. military’s role in Syria, grilling Pentagon officials on whether U.S. troops will remain in the country to counter Iran.

The existing authorizations, which the administration has used to keep troops in Syria and Afghanistan to fight militant groups, do not cover operations against Iran, Robert Karem, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told Congress...

Later that day, Congress doubled down. A group of senators introduced legislation designed to prevent unconstitutional war with Iran. The legislation would prohibit the United States from expending funds that could lead to war with Iran without express approval from Congress, and it argues that a preemptive attack against Tehran is illegal under the War Powers Act and the Constitution...

Source

Maybe Congress will finally start taking its role on this issue (war powers) seriously.

Here is a link to the legislation: S 3517.

And here is Sen. Udall's press release.
  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #82 - Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:22pm
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Quote:
Syria could face tough sanctions if it blocks political process - U.S. diplomat

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The United States will pursue “a strategy of isolation,” including sanctions, with its allies if President Bashar al-Assad holds up a political process aimed at ending Syria’s seven-year war, a top U.S. diplomat for Syria told Reuters on Friday.

Jim Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria, said Washington would work with countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to impose tough international sanctions if Assad’s government failed to cooperate on rewriting the Syrian constitution as a prelude to elections...

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #83 - Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:31pm
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For all the talk and love-letters coming out of North Korea, I think the real proxy-war hot-zone is Syria.  If the Syrians accidentally shot down a Russian plane, there is a fair chance that the Russians will shoot down a US plane.
  

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #84 - Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:39pm
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forgotten centrist wrote on Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:31pm:
For all the talk and love-letters coming out of North Korea, I think the real proxy-war hot-zone is Syria.  If the Syrians accidentally shot down a Russian plane, there is a fair chance that the Russians will shoot down a US plane.

Vladimir Putin misses his time as a KGB Colonel and eventually Head of the KGB.  You may recall that the (former) Soviet Union gained "sphere's of influence" with proxy wars all over the globe.  They even teamed up with China against the US and the rest of the United Nations, with their support of N. Korea. 

Putin is playing the same old game expecting a different outcome from the last Cold War.  Unfortunately, if the US fails to keep both China and Russia in check, they will become the dominant world power(s) and the US and our allies will be playing a purely defensive game until we lose and either one of them or both Russia and China win!
  

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #85 - Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:41pm
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forgotten centrist wrote on Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:31pm:
For all the talk and love-letters coming out of North Korea, I think the real proxy-war hot-zone is Syria.  If the Syrians accidentally shot down a Russian plane, there is a fair chance that the Russians will shoot down a US plane.

Bigger issue might be an Iranian missile hitting our bases, etc.

"Iran fired six missiles at militant strongholds in eastern Syria today, near the area of operations for most of the 2,200 US troops fighting the Islamic State (IS) in the war-torn country. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said in a statement that the strikes killed several militant leaders accused of plotting last week’s attack on a military parade that killed 25 people." (Al-Monitor)

We have deconfliction procedures in place with Russia, and those have generally worked (Russia also didn't seem all that concerned when we killed a bunch of Russia mercenaries). We don't have similar procedures in place with Iran, nor are we likely to develop any (frankly, Bolton and some others might be happy if they did hit us).
« Last Edit: Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:47pm by Demos »  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #86 - Oct 1st, 2018 at 3:57pm
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Jasmine wrote on Jan 17th, 2018 at 6:04pm:
I don't understand why we have to be there. Aren't they in some kind of civil war? Let them all kill each other.

Smiley Good call
  

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #87 - Oct 2nd, 2018 at 3:49pm
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Quote:
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced an increase in the number of US advisers on the ground in #Syria...

There is a very clear shift over the past week in the US policy on #Syria. Washington appears to be far more willing to commit additional resources in the country and shift its mission from one focused only on ISIS to  tackling the Iranian presence...

It appears several members of the administration (including imo the new US Special Representative as well as Bolton) may have managed to overcome this initial reluctance, possibly also with the help of some other regional countries #Syria...

Meanwhile (and while this may not be linked) negociations between the SDF and the regime appear to be flatlining. If the US shows commits to long-term presence, SDF will have more bargaining power in any future nego #Syria...

Michael Horowitz

Last sentence was interesting. Perhaps this is simply a move to related to negotiations.
  
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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #88 - Oct 7th, 2018 at 4:09pm
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Quote:
Number of U.S. Diplomats in Syria Doubles

During a press conference on October 2, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the number of U.S. diplomats in Syria has doubled as the self-proclaimed Islamic State nears defeat. Separately, U.S. and Turkish militaries have begun training in Turkey for joint patrols in Syria’s Manbij, which a Turkish presidential spokesperson said will begin “very soon.”

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Re: Tillerson: US Troops Will Stay in Syria
Reply #89 - Oct 10th, 2018 at 3:32pm
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Quote:
Syrian Rebels Withdraw Heavy Weapons to Spare Idlib From Assault

KAFAR NAHA, Syria — Syrian rebel fighters have pulled the last of their heavy weapons from front-line positions in Idlib Province, meeting the deadline for a truce negotiated by Russia and Turkey — and possibly sparing the civilian population from a bloody government offensive...

Under the agreement brokered personally last month by President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the rebels are unilaterally withdrawing heavy weaponry to create a demilitarized zone 15 kilometers, or nine miles, wide. The deadline for the withdrawal is Wednesday, and a cease-fire is to commence five days later...

Turkish security forces escorted the group of journalists in a rare visit across Turkey’s southern border and deep into Idlib Province to show how the deal was working on the ground. Turkey has committed troops to maintain 12 military observation posts around the perimeter of Idlib over the past year, which has already helped reduce violence from both sides.

Mr. Assad appears to have accepted the latest agreement, although in comments Monday he said it was only a “temporary measure.” Idlib and other territory under rebel control will eventually fall again under government authority, he insisted at a meeting of the central committee of his Baath Party, the Syrian state news agency SANA reported.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that some of the rebels were hiding their heavy weapons rather than withdrawing them fully...

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