RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou take a quick look at the announcement from the Trump White House that the United States has decided to station a ‘peacekeeping group’ of roughly 200 US soldiers in Syria for a ‘period of time’ after the much hyped withdrawal.
Once again we see that once the US enters a country for a regime change mission, it becomes nearly impossible to fully disengage, ultimately leaving America in the role of invader and occupier, for an indefinite amount of time.
Despite President Donald Trump’s promises to withdraw American troops out of Syria, the US intends to maintain presence on the ground with a “small peacekeeping group” for an unspecified “period” of time, the White House said.
“A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement without elaborating.
Trump took the world by surprise back in December, when he announced the US withdrawal from Syria without specifying a timetable. The initiative was not well received in the Pentagon, even forcing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign after clashing with Trump, as both the generals and politicians have been claiming that US presence in Syria is vital and that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group would inevitably reemerge if all of some 2,000 Americans leave.
The US withdrawal is being stalled by concerns about potential Turkish incursion into the territories currently controlled by the US-backed Syrian Kurds. On Thursday, Trump had another phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the issue. Washington wants Turkey to agree to a buffer ‘safe zone’ in northeastern Syria and is also contemplating arming the Syrian Kurds, despite Ankara’s strong opposition.
While the US continues its diplomatic maneuvering, some noted the irony, wondering if the White House was using the term ‘peacekeeping’ correctly or was even aware of what it actually means. Others questioned the logic and the motive of maintaining such a contingent on the ground, noting that 200 troops could serve as a human shield, but is unlikely to really sway the outcome of the conflict.
In other words, they're leaving 200 soldiers there to continue fighting.
— Leo Ford (@1LeoFord) February 22, 2019
How can there be a "peacekeeping group" when there is no peace to keep?
— David M. Russell (@pragmaticNYC) February 22, 2019
Traditionally, the term peacekeeping has been used to describe the UN Blue Helmets whose missions are strictly mandated by the Security Council. American troops, however, hardly have any legal basis to remain in Syria, as they had never been invited by the official government in Damascus.
what is the legitimacy of the US its allies presence in Syria? there is not any UN Council resolution that authorized the deployment of US troops in Syria, neither the approval of US Congress nor the invitation of the Syrian government. So is this an invasion or an occupation?🤔
— Elena (@Elena58094200) February 22, 2019
Syria doesn't want them. These troops have no authority to remain.
— Pulse 💥 (@ExplosivePulse) February 22, 2019
Sorry, but a band of militias, which is all the SDF is, cannot legally invite foreign troops into a country. If the Bundy clan had invited Canadian troops to come help them with their troubles with the US govt, by your reasoning, it would be legal, LOL.
— Ed Watters (@EDub56) February 22, 2019
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.