WASHINGTON DC, The United States – The reasons that could have motivated the US exit from Syria may be financial, analysts have said, explaining how the US withdrawal will affect Turkey and Israel, as well as Washington’s European allies who remain in the Arab country.
Even US President Donald Trump, having previously promised the withdrawal of US troops from the Syria took many by surprise. At the beginning of September, US Special Representative in Syria James Jeffrey made it clear that US military forces would not give up until the end of the year, in addition to Trump’s administration declaring that it would maintain 2,200 troops in the region for an indefinite period.
The question arises whether this sudden move was due to Trump’s promise to leave as soon as he defeated Daesh (ISIS), or whether there were other reasons leading to early withdrawal.
“We can speculate and come up with many reasons, but the most important thing for a pragmatic prosecutor like Trump is perhaps the real financial cost factor,” Syrian political analyst Ghassan Kadi said.
“Trump does not seem prepared to engage in military action unless someone is paying for it, and this is not the case in Syria. [Trump] is an entrepreneur and runs the US as a corporation with a profit and loss statement and investors to please,” he added.
According to Kadi, this approach “is not necessarily a bad thing for the world because previous governments have squandered trillions of American taxpayers to destroy the world.” In addition, he pointed out that there was nothing in the region for the US to make such a decision, “unless Trump and Erdogan have struck a deal.”
However, according to the analyst, “unless Trump promised to hand over his positions to Turkish troops, his withdrawal from Syria would leave Turkey at a disadvantage in Idlib.”
Syrian political analyst Christopher Assad believes the Americans have lost interest as military operations in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan did not benefit the US in any way, as well as making no progress toward “neutralizing” those countries. According to Assad, the effect turned out to be the opposite, and the “American decision to support the Kurds in northern Syria actually led the US to gain another enemy in the region.”
Both analysts have drawn attention to the fact that even if the US leaves Syria, they will maintain a military presence in Qatar and the Persian Gulf.
“After all, [America] is in a state of attrition, and I do not believe they have the money to maintain the same level of military presence they have overseas for much longer. That said, I do not believe the US will leave its Qatar base and naval positions in the Gulf soon,” Kadi said.
According to Christopher Assad, “it must also be said that Trump’s role as president is to keep the economy of his empire above the surface.”
“Therefore, although he [Trump] can remove troops from Afghanistan … he can under no circumstances completely abandon the Middle East, because Iran is so well on US military installations and remains the most coveted target of the Empire.”
In the midst of the US withdrawal, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to continue supporting the Kurdish militia in northern Syria.
“If France decides to replace the US in Syria, how could [Paris] succeed where the United States failed?”, Kadi rhetorically questioned. “France is a nuclear power … but it no longer has the geopolitical and military power it believes it has.”
For Kadi, “Russia is the only power that has the respect and confidence of all relevant parties” to “sponsor fair and appropriate mediations.”
He added: “A unilateral US withdrawal may weaken Israel’s position and leverage the negotiation of an Iranian withdrawal, but this will further strengthen Russia’s position as the only power that can broker future peace talks.”
Christopher Assad finds the opposite and emphasized that “the Israelis are in a win-win situation because they can continue to sow instability and instigate violence in both Iran and Syria.”
“Trump’s move, although it may be good for the Syrians, will certainly encourage both Israel and Turkey, each for opposing reasons… will free the hands of Turkey to deal with the Kurdish problem and give the Israelis, British and French justification for continuing the pursuit of a belligerent policy against Syria, using the Kurdish Syrians as a ruse,” Assad concluded.