America to pull out of Syria

12 22 2018

American Troops in Syria

This news is good news for Syria, Iran, Russia and Turkey.  It is not good news for Israel and Saudi Arabia (both nations fear Iran, who now gains the most from America’s departure). What will be most interesting is to see if Turkey will now exercise a more powerful hand in Syria.  America is hoping a more assertive Turkey will now be able to control ISIS in Syria.

Clearly the withdrawal will tarnish America’s image in the Middle East. America will lose its reputation for being a reliable ally as a result of American withdrawal from Syria; leaving its partners in the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) open to an attack from Syria or Turkey. Israel is especially worried. “The security challenge vis-a-vis the Iranian presence in Syria and its influence on the northern front becomes more complex for us when the US soldiers will abandon Syrian soil,” said former defense minister and IDF minister and IDF chief of staff Lt Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday.

President Trump simply wants to bring troops home, as he has never been a fan of Middle East wars. Someone will fill the vacuum as a result of America’s departure…will that be Iran, Russia or Turkey?  We wait and watch.

Washington has continually promised not to abandon its Kurdish allies in Syria. The question is, will the Kurds search for alternative partners? When the United States chooses to leave Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey will be all too eager to fill the space Washington leaves.  The Kurds have few friends in the region and will suffer the most.

The war for control of Syria is far from over.  It will be most interesting to see if Israel and Iran are drawn more deeply into fighting each other in that country.  Another question to be answered in 2019, is what will happen to Assad of Syria, will he maintain his governance of the country or will he be forced by Russia and Iran to leave office?  President Assad of Syria is among one of the basest of men who continues to rule in the Middle East (Daniel 4:17); that whole region will only become more muddled as we transition over to a Syria without American involvement. —-Steven LeBlanc

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