Doubts about the American withdrawal from Syria

While the Assad government, thanks to the support of Iran and Russia, has reconquered about 75% of the Syrian country, the part that includes the most precious deposits, in addition to having always maintained the outlet to the sea, the part of Syria remained under American control includes desert territories and oil fields that contain crude oil with lower quality; this motivation, together with the fact that the program to overthrow Assad has failed, has determined in Trump the decision to withdraw the approximately 2,000 American soldiers still present in the Syrian territory. The question, however, has raised internal and external objections, which could create changes in the White House. The official reason supported by the US president is that the fight against the Islamic State ended with the defeat of the caliphate, but the presence, though small and in some remote areas, of some groups does not allow to state with Trump’s certainty, the complete annihilation of the militia from the territory where the US military operates. From the internal point of view, the assessments of the American military leaders consider this move to be a mistake, similar to the one, for now prevented, of the withdrawal of the troops from Iran, both for contingent reasons, such as the residual presence of the Islamic State, and for the repercussions on military alliances with the Kurds, which for the action against Iran, especially in defense of Israel. The Kurdish question does not allow an attitude based only on the evaluations of the exclusive convenience, above all financial, which are at the base of Trump’s decision (which once again reveals itself as a short-sighted politician in the long run and also a poor connoisseur of international political dynamics ). The commitment of the Kurdish fighters directly on the ground has allowed the United States to avoid the direct deployment of American soldiers in the Syrian fighting theater, the Kurds have revealed themselves, as well as on the occasion of the invasion of Saddam’s Iraq, the main and more efficient US allies, far above the fighters belonging to the Syrian democratic forces, who have never managed to provide adequate assistance to the Pentagon’s military. The Kurdish question, however, provides Ankara’s profound opposition to the possibility of an autonomous Kurdish entity on its borders. Turkey welcomed the possible US retreat, glimpsing the possibility of a direct military action against Syrian Kurds. Erdogan has also requested the dismantling of the military bases set up by the US for the Kurds to end the Kurdish fighters weaker. Turkish action would be justified with the usual excuse to fight Kurdish terrorism. The Kurdish strategy was then to re-establish relations with Assad, with whom the Kurds had, however, a certain autonomy. The military of Damascus approached the Kurdish areas, on which the Syrian flag was waved, thus creating the conditions for a confrontation with Turkey, which, in the end, threatened an action in the territory of Syria. It is not necessary to remember that this could also imply a response from Russia and Iran, which are present in force on the territory of Damascus. Trump’s decision, therefore, could reopen a new chapter in the Syrian war, interrupting the current deadlock. The American requests to Turkey seem to have little, to avoid Ankara’s aggression of Kurdish territory: the Turkish government has already rejected these requests, creating a clear and further problem to the American international prestige. No less important is the question posed by Israel on its own security, because the American retreat would leave space for Iran in Syria, especially from the logistical point of view to supply the Shiite militias in Lebanon. At this point the questions on the real convenience of the withdrawal of American troops from Syria seem to be too many and this could force the next program change President Trump, who would see another commitment made in the election campaign, impossible to maintain.

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