Trump and Syria, reality and fantasy

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

American President Donald Trump made a shocking statement during the recent Ohio rally as he voiced his intent to withdraw from Syria noting that he won the fight against ISIS and accomplished the task.

Is this just a “populist” political remark to appeal to the sentiment of the masses he was addressing – crowds that are ignorant in terms of foreign policy and what American national security necessitates?

Perhaps this is the case. However, this statement contradicts with Trump’s intent to confront Iran and eliminate its “malicious activities” in the region. It also contradicts with the current American mood against Russia’s ascendancy over the West and with America’s anger towards Turkey’s role in North Syria, i.e. in Afrin, as decision makers in Washington believe that Ankara is “dispersing” the real battle and deviating the compass from the right direction by not focusing on ISIS which is the West’s approach in Syria.

The enemies of American presence in Syria are Russia, Iran and Turkey. Turkish, Russian and Iranian officials will meet on Wednesday in Ankara to coordinate efforts in Syria. Russia and Iran are about to achieve their planned aims via the “crime” they committed in eastern Ghouta to complete the sectarian displacement which began with Madaya, Zabadani, Qusayr and other areas.

Everything that Trump is doing and that he’s done in the past year and few months since he’s become president has absolutely nothing to do with the statement made in Ohio.

Mashari Althaydi

Trump’s announcement also contradicts with other indicators such as appointing John Bolton as the new national security advisor. Bolton had clearly called for ending the Iranian Khomeini regime. It also contradicts with appointing Mike Pompeo, a bitter enemy of Iranian influence, as secretary of state.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has a realistic approach regarding Syria told the American Time magazine: “American troop presence inside Syria is the last effort stopping Iran, from continuing to expand influence with regional allies.”

The Washington Post which is usually not that friendly towards Trump published an article by Josh Rogin to comment on Trump’s announcement. Rogin wrote that the most important reasons behind American presence in Syria is “containing Iranian expansionism, preventing a new refugee crisis, fighting extremism and stopping Russia from exerting influence over the region.”

Forget about all this. The Khomeini regime understood Trump’s message when he appointed Bolton as a national security advisor. In an interview with the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA), Hossein Mousavian, a former high-ranking member of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said: “Except for Obama’s era – oh alas – enmity has always existed between the Islamic Republic and the US. However, the policy of changing the Iranian regime (within the framework) of Trump’s cabinet has become public.”

Everything that Trump is doing and that he’s done in the past year and few months since he’s become president has absolutely nothing to do with the statement he made in Ohio.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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