Editorial The Hindu 22 December 2018- Simplified

Editorial The Hindu 22 December 2018

Controversial exit: U.S troops withdrawal from Syria


  • President Trump’s decision to exit USA’s troops from Syria has caused much disturbance both within Washington establishment and America’s global allies.
  • Shocking was the resigning of Secretary of Defense James Mattis
  • Allies saying the move would affect the ongoing war against the Islamic State militants in Syria.
  • Whereas Mr. Trump says it’s a decision for which he campaigned in the elections.
  • He reasons that the very structure of the IS caliphate is destroyed and the U.S. can leave the war against the remnants of the jihadist group to the Syrian government & its prime backers Russia & Iran.
  • The caliphate is destroyed and out of 100% only 5% remained  which is confined to a small pocket along Iraq-Syrian border.
  • US also would not like to get stuck to the Syria like what it  has been in Afghanistan & Iraq from past 16- 17 years.
  • But many wants Mr. Trump to be more patient and strategic in his policy making.
  • As only 2000 Troops deployed in Syria and also they weren’t directly involved in the ground battle and mainly supporting the Kurdish rebel, who were in the forefront of the fight against the ISIS.

What can happen after withdrawal of US Troops.

pic credit: The Defense Post

As USA was supporting the Kurdish rebels in the war against ISIS (Islamic state), which has irked Turkey. Because inside Turkey the Kurdistan Workers Party which is a rebel outfit in Turkey is fighting Turkish troops for decades and Turkey see these Kurdish rebels in Syria as an extension to the rebels of Kurdistan Workers Party).

Turkey considers the military consolidation of Kurds as a strategic threat and has also attacked the Kurds in Syria in the past. But couldn’t launch a full fledged war against them because of the backing of US to the Kurds in Syria.

A withdrawal of US troops can lead to trigger of events where Turkey can attack the Kurds which in turn can weaken the forces against the Islamic State militants which is still there on the southern side of the Syrian border.

A more patient approach by US could have done better. He could have considered waiting for the conflict to de-escalate even further; also, he could have gained assurances from Turkey that it would refrain from attacking Kurdish troops.

Leaving Syria now by the US can have dangerous situation again in the northeastern Syria.

Source: The Hindu

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