Trump couldn’t overcome Iran, Russia aid to Syria: ex-U.S. diplomat

December 29, 2018

TEHRAN – An American author and former diplomat has highlighted reasons behind President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, saying Trump “could see no way of overcoming Iranian and Russian aid” to the Damascus government.

“Naturally, President Trump could see no way of overcoming Iranian and Russian aid; that help obviously proved decisive,” Michael Springmann, the former head of the American visa bureau in Saudi Arabia, said in an interview with Tasnim.

“Additionally, and this is pure speculation, Trump or someone close to him finally recognized that the U.S. had illegally invaded Syria,” he said, adding, “Since Iran and Russia had been invited to help Bashar al-Assad fight his enemies, the idea likely coalesced that remaining in Syria in a losing war would be, in the long run, against American Interests elsewhere.”

Springmann expressed hope that this withdrawal is not the end of the beginning, but the beginning of the end of a cruel, needless war.

On whether the move is a victory for Iran, he said, “I would not necessarily say, as some analysts have, that the U.S. withdrawal from Syria is a victory for Iran.”

Instead, the analyst continued, “I would remark that the expected drawdown of American forces is a distinct advantage for the Islamic Republic.”

Iran’s role in removing American soldiers from Syria has been to help irregular forces, allied with the government, in fighting the terrorists, Springmann said about Iran’s role in Syria.

“Iran’s advice and counsel proved invaluable in helping groups like Hezbollah deal with the better-armed groups and cooperate with the Syrian government’s army,” he added.

He also said there is no timetable for removing the stated 2,000 U.S. soldiers from Syria. “Nor is there confirmation that America will not continue to bomb that unhappy country or that the U.S. will cease its support for the various extremist groups it has been backing over the years.”

Because of the U.S. withdrawal, “I believe the Israeli Apartheid Entity will continue to wage war in Syria, in the hope that it will finally destroy the country,” he added.

“Saudi Arabia may well become more deeply involved there as well. And, of course, Turkey will seek to press farther into Syria, both to seize land that had once been part of the Ottoman Empire and to continue its war against the Kurds, including those in Syria who have been fighting ISIS.”

On the reasons behind Trump’s move, he said, “His reasons for doing so are likely fulfillment of his campaign promise to leave the Forever War in the region, end U.S. overextension in the Middle East, and re-orient American forces to counter non-existent threats from Russia and China.”

Springmann also said, “Predictably, the old European colonial powers objected to the U.S. retreat. France vowed to remain in Syria. Britain said it disagreed with U.S. policy. The Germans commented they were surprised because the ‘threat’ is still there.”

“Only Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, welcomed the move. He noted that ISIS had been defeated and there was no longer a reason to keep the illegitimate U.S. invasion forces in Syria,” he added.

MH/PA

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