Small Wars Journal

In One Fell Swoop, Trump Throws U.S. Goals In Syria Into Disarray

In One Fell Swoop, Trump Throws U.S. Goals In Syria Into Disarray by Shaun Tandon – Agence France-Presse

Since the outbreak of Syria's brutal civil war, the United States has stated several objectives -- destroying Islamic State extremists, easing from power President Bashar al-Assad and limiting Iran's influence.

In just one decision, President Donald Trump may have undone all three.

The mercurial leader pulled US troops out of northern Syria in the face of a Turkish invasion against Kurdish forces, who had led the campaign to crush the Islamic State group and with US protection had enjoyed effective autonomy.

The Kurds have reached out to Assad's regime -- allied with Iran and Russia -- to redeploy for the first time in years to northern Syria to face Turkey, which is trying to eliminate a force it links to Kurdish separatists at home.

Trump, who is skeptical of US military engagements overseas, already declared a withdrawal from Syria in December before backtracking but appeared to be convinced in an October 6 telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan…

Read on.