The recent expansion of US military forces in Syria follows a predictable, singular agenda targeting this nation for decades – and more specifically – during the most recent and ongoing conflict which began in 2011 amid the US-engineered “Arab Spring.”
The UK Independent in its article, “US marines sent to Syria to help assault on Isis’ Raqqa stronghold,” would report that:
Hundreds of US marines have arrived in Syria armed with heavy artillery in preparation for an assault on Isis’ de-facto capital of Raqqa.
However, the presence of US troops in Syria is entirely unsolicited by the Syrian government and constitutes a clear violation of Syria’s national sovereignty under international law.
CNN in its article, “Assad: US military forces in Syria are ‘invaders’,” would report that:
Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad scoffed and questioned US actions in Syria, calling American troops deploying to the country “invaders” because he hadn’t given permission for them to enter the country and saying there’s been no “concrete action” from the Trump administration toward ISIS.
The fact that US policy remains absolutely unchanged despite a new president taking office is no surprise.
Further Evidence of Continuity of Agenda
With Israel occupying Syria’s Golan Heights and Turkish troops occupying a northern “buffer zone” stretching from Azaz in the west to Jarabulus on the Euphrates River in the east, US troops continuing to carve out a permanent presence in Syria’s eastern most regions threatens to fulfill a decades old conspiracy to divide and destroy the Syrian state.
Recently declassified documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency reveal that as early as 1983, the US was engaged in virtually identical covert and overt operations aimed at destabilizing and overthrowing the Syria government.
A 1983 document signed by former CIA officer Graham Fuller titled, “Bringing Real Muscle to Bear Against Syria” (PDF), states (their emphasis):
Syria at present has a hammerlock on US interests both in Lebanon and in the Gulf — through closure of Iraq’s pipeline thereby threatening Iraqi internationalization of the [Iran-Iraq] war. The US should consider sharply escalating the pressures against Assad [Sr.] through covertly orchestrating simultaneous military threats against Syria from three border states hostile to Syria: Iraq, Israel and Turkey.
The report also states:
If Israel were to increase tensions against Syria simultaneously with an Iraqi initiative, the pressures on Assad would escalate rapidly. A Turkish move would psychologically press him further.
That a virtually indistinguishable agenda has transcended decades and multiple presidencies allows observers of Syria’s current conflict to sidestep tempting political diversions and focus solely on the strategic overlay of the actual conflict.
Despite claims across the Western media that Turkey and the United States are at odds – and specifically at odds regarding their respective illegal occupations and operations within Syrian territory – their decades long collaboration in the attempted division and destruction of the Syrian state indicates that in all likelihood, this collaboration continues, albeit behind a veil of feigned conflicting interests.
Likewise, attempts to portray Israel as a rogue nation amid this ongoing conflict affords US policymakers flexibility through plausible deniability. Airstrikes targeting Syrian forces impossible for the US or even Turkey to justify, are tolerated by the “international community” when carried out by Israel.
Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other lesser members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are similarly used to launder various aspects of US foreign policy targeting Syria through, including the arming, training, and funding of various terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) itself.
Should the US-NATO-Israeli-GCC axis be more overtly apparent, such flexibility would be significantly negated.
The True Endgame for US Troops in Syria
US ambitions versus the Syrian state have been significantly rolled back by both Syrian advances on the battlefield and the direct military support it is receiving from allies including Russia and Iran. Turkish forces attempting to advance deeper into Syrian territory under the guise of fighting “terrorists” and Kurdish fighters Ankara claims threaten Turkish national security are now chaffing against Syrian Arab Army forces changing places with Kurdish forces along the perimeter of Turkey’s “buffer zone.”
Likewise, US forces are facing similar obstacles in their attempts to incrementally seize Syrian territory. Additionally, their proxy forces consist of militant organizations disinterested in long-term cooperation with the United States or in carving out autonomous regions within Syria’s borders that will inevitably face sociopolitical and economic hurdles the US will have no interest in assisting them in crossing – meaning that eventually, any long-term deal will likely be struck with Damascus, not Washington.
But like Israel’s seizure and ongoing occupation of the Golan Heights, Turkish and American incursions and territorial seizures constitutes a similar, incremental dismemberment of the Syrian state. Facing the likely prospect that most of Syria’s territory will return to Damascus’ control sooner than later, the US and its collaborators in Ankara are attempting to take and hold as much territory as possible before this happens in a bid to weaken Syria ahead of future, yet to unfold rounds of targeted destabilization.
Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.