Imperial collaboration: UK, France will send forces to Syria and U.S. will bear the cost  

us troops syria

Along with other allies, the UK and France will send forces to Syria, and the U.S. will bear the cost, says a new report in Foreign Policy.

The U.S. president Donald Trump promised to outsource fighting to allies and pay them to do it.

According to the Foreign Policy report, the UK and France are willing to heed calls from the U.S. to its allies to pick up the burden of Syria-interference.

Both the countries have a limited number of special forces in Syria.

Both the countries will commit to a troop increase of between 10 and 15 percent to allow the US to withdraw.

Between 1,000 and 2,000 U.S. troops are now stationed in northeastern Syria. The U.S. troops are supporting anti-government Kurdish fighters.

However, the U.S. plans to wind down its presence in Syria.

Germany has already rebuffed U.S. request for ground troops on Monday, citing “well known” German policy.

According to the report, The German military currently provides reconnaissance jets, a refueling aircraft, and other noncombat military assistance to the fight against the Islamic State, according to German media.

Citing confirmation by U.S. officials, the exclusive Foreign Policy report – “Britain, France Agree to Send Additional Troops to Syria” – said: Britain and France will commit to a marginal 10 to 15 percent troop increase. Other countries may send small numbers of troops as well, but in exchange, the U.S. would have to pay.

The report by Lara Seligman, staff writer at Foreign Policy, cited the U.S. official: Neither the timeframe for the deployment nor the exact number of additional troops is clear. “Overall we have been disappointed” in efforts to persuade U.S. allies to commit additional resources to the ongoing fight against the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria.

Citing another source close to related discussions with the U.S. allies, the report said:

“Italy is close to a decision on whether or not to send additional forces, and a number of Balkan and Baltic states are ‘almost certain to send handfuls of soldiers each’.

The July 9, 2019 datelined report said:

“While it is a success for the administration, the marginal increase of U.K. and French troops likely won’t completely fill the gap left when U.S. forces leave. The U.S. footprint in Syria is expected to drop from an estimated 2,000 troops to just 400; the exact number of British and French forces in the country is unknown, but the second source estimated each country currently has just 200 to 300 troops there.”

The move was seen as a return to the non-interventionist platform he touted during his election campaign, when he mused, “Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?”

The withdrawal idea was met with howls of protest from Washington hawks, and spurred then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign.

National Security Advisor John Bolton, an advocate of regime change in Syria, came out to reassure the war-hungry U.S. interests that the U.S forces would remain in Syria until the last micro-pockets of ISIS (Islamic State) were defeated and Iranian influence in Syria, a pair of conditions that could take months, or even years to meet.

Days later, Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, embarked on a tour of the Middle East to reassure allies that the U.S. had not, lost its mission for destruction, and would take military action in Syria again if necessary. “When America retreats, chaos follows. America will not retreat until the terror fight is over.”

Swapping the U.S. troops for other countries allows Trump to placate the Boltons and Pompeos in his cabinet, and pro-intervention lawmakers from both parties in Congress. At the same time it lets Trump turn to his base and say, “see, I brought our boys home”, just months before his re-election campaign begins in earnest.

A new report by the Institute for the Study of War said:

“The U.S. is repeating a critical mistake by deprioritizing this effort at a pivotal moment when our gains are at their most fragile. The U.S. must take immediate steps to dampen ISIS’s resurgence in Iraq and Syria, including halting and reversing America’s ongoing withdrawal from Syria.”

The U.K. and France operate covertly in Syria with their special forces in the country. So it is unlikely any increase will be publicly announced.

Alongside the United States, the U.K. and France took part in a series of air -and ship-based missile strikes against the Syrian regime in 2018 in response to the Douma chemical attack.

The Foreign Policy report said:

“The British Embassy did not return a request for comment. A spokesperson for the French Embassy said, ‘Officially France has no troop on the ground in Syria’, declining to comment further.

“But in a rare public acknowledgement, James Jeffrey, the top U.S. envoy to Syria and the counter-Islamic State coalition, recently signaled that the administration has made progress getting coalition forces to contribute additional troops.”

Britain and France have also expressed interest in contributing to Sentinel, a maritime partnership designed to enhance security for commercial ships traversing the Strait of Hormuz and other choke points, the U.S. administration official said. The State and Defense departments developed Sentinel as a response to increased Iranian aggression against oil tankers in the world’s busiest shipping lanes.”

It said:

“Most importantly, the U.S. administration is trying to convince the U.K., France, and other allies to contribute money for the Syria stabilization effort, the official said, pointing to ‘dire’ conditions at the Rukban refugee camp, where the United Nations says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped.”

Germany rebuffs U.S.

An earlier report said:

Germany has turned down a request from the U.S. to deploy ground forces in Syria describing the proposal as inconsistent with Berlin’s “well known” policy.

James Jeffrey, U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement, confirmed on Sunday that he had asked the German government to provide troops to replace a portion of US forces currently stationed in Syria.

He said the request was part of U.S. preparations for an eventual U.S. military withdrawal Syria.

“When I say the government envisages to the current measures in the anti-Islamic State (military) coalition, this includes no ground troops, as is well known”, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said during a news conference on Monday.

The response should not come as a shock to the U.S.

Germany has generally been wary of a direct military intervention in Syria.

In May of last year, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, assured the public that the Bundeswehr “will not participate in possible military actions.”

In an interview, Jeffrey told Defense One that he expects a “breakthrough” agreement in the coming weeks, which would include coalition forces replacing US troops as they withdraw from Syria.

Filling in for US troops in Syria will come with certain moral and legal hazards.

The U.S. forces have been operating in Syria without the consent of Damascus or UN authorization, what is tantamount to an illegal occupation.

Syria insists that the Western military presence in Syria is illegitimate, pledging to liberate “every inch” of the country from uninvited foreign troops.


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