End of US Support for Syrian Rebels Sounds Death Knell for Attempt to Roll Back Iran & Russia in Syria – By Joshua Landis

Terminating CIA Support for Syrian Rebels Sounds Death Knell for Western Attempt to Roll Back Iran and Russia in Syria.
By Joshua Landis
For Syria Comment – July 20, 2017

Trump’s termination of CIA funds to Syrian rebels signals the death knell for Western efforts to roll back Iranian and Russian power in the Levant.

The reassertion of Assad’s control over much of Syria underlines the success of Iran’s policy in the Northern Middle East.

Western efforts to overturn Assad and bring to power a Sunni ascendency in Syria have failed as have efforts to flip Syria out of Russia’s and Iran’s orbit and into that of the United States and Saudi Arabia.

The cut off of CIA funding for Syria’s rebels is the raggedy ending of America’s failed regime-change policy in Syria and the region at large.

President Trump called the wars in the Middle East “stupid wars” during his campaign. He called America’s policy of regime-change a “failed policy.” This is his effort to concentrate narrowly on eliminating ISIS and ending Washington’s effort to drive Assad from power by force of arms.

He believes that by working with the Russians, the United States will destroy ISIS more quickly. It should be added that Syria’s military, with Russian backing, has killed hundreds of ISIS fighters in the last several months. It has driven ISIS from territory twice the size of Lebanon in the last two months alone. Further efforts to weaken or destroy the Syrian Army will only slow ISIS’s demise.

This decision by the security establishment has been a long time coming. As it became clear that Assad would not fall or step aside, particularly after Russia jumped into the conflict in Sept 2015, the arming of rebels to overthrow Assad became a vestigial policy. President Macron articulated this position for the EU, when he declared that it was unrealistic to believe that Assad would go.

Support for arming rebels has been waning since radicals began setting off bombs in European capitals.

Trump’s decision to stop support for Syrian rebels will be the final nail in the coffin of those factions which draw salaries from the CIA.

More radical groups, such as those historically connected to al-Qaida and Ahrar al-Sham will also suffer from this decision. The radical militias prey on the weaker ones. They extort arms and money from the CIA-supported factions. The porous Syrian border with Turkey can now also be shut more tightly. The need to push resources to the CIA-vetted militias, kept border crossings open to all rebels, including al-Qaida. Factions merge and regroup with such regularity, that border guards could not know who was fighting for what end.

This is the last gasp for America’s policy of regime-change which has so compromised its efforts to promote democracy and human rights in a part of the world that needs both.

Comments (8)

Jasmine said:

But what about those ten American Military Bases located in the North of Syria:

July 20th, 2017, 11:53 am


ALAN said:

Is this a tradition you have there in the United States, that you destabilize the entities of the countries, spread corruption and cause human disasters in them, and then regret on the democracy that did not manifest in your behavior and human rights that you violated with your all kinds of taboos, And after all this evil Amerca still out of the punishment?
The American nation must pay the high price. God will curse you forever.

July 20th, 2017, 2:25 pm


Ghufran said:

Western support for rebels has nothing to do with freedom and democracy. The west saw an opportunity to stick it to Iran and punish Assad and that certainly helped Israel and hurt the Palestinians. Let us see how quick the west will be to help rebuild Syria, do not hold your breath !!
We said that in 2012.
كل ثوره و أنتم بخير
يا امة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

July 20th, 2017, 11:36 pm


Eugene said:

As the military equipment pours into the northern part of Syria, will the Kurd’s be left out in the cold again? Oh when will they ever learn? Another failure, another element in the U.S.A.’s “Mother of all C-F’s since 9-11”. Yet, the beat goes on.

July 21st, 2017, 12:20 am


ALAN said:

While the new Trump decision is most certainly a welcome development, the Pentagon program of arming, training, and funding terrorism in Syria is moving ahead unmolested. Thus, the U.S. will be continuing to support terrorists under a different department. In addition, the CIA has increasingly become a rogue agency, even publicly threatening the President and actively working against his administration from day one. Trump’s order may be issued but whether or not the CIA will abide by it is another question. Lastly, as long as the U.S. is insisting on allowing the Kurds to create a Kurdish mini-state within Syria, the war will continue. A federalized Syria has been a plan of the Israelis and American intelligence community, and corporate financier think tanks for many years as a Plan B if the Plan A of full-scale destruction fails.

We should congratulate Donald Trump on ending the CIA program but also should demand that he end the Pentagon program as well with no more covert action taken against the Syrian government. In addition, we must demand that all American troops be removed from Syria and any idea of Kurdistan be left to wither on the vine. This can be the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis from the point of view of the United States.


July 21st, 2017, 7:41 am


ALAN said:

‘We’re bad day away from Russians asking, ‘Why are you still in Syria?’ – top US commander
A US special operations commander has admitted that an extended US stay in Syria runs contrary to international law and that Russia would be entirely justified in questioning its presence there.
At the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, Special Operations Command chief Army General, Raymond Thomas was asked whether American forces will remain in Syria, after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, possibly, to support the Kurdish forces in the north of the country.

Thomas acknowledged that American forces are fighting in a sovereign Syria, where they will likely “have no ability to stay” if that presence is questioned “in terms of international law,” Thomas said, replying to the Washington Post journalist’s question.

“Here’s the conundrum,” Thomas continued. “We are operating in the sovereign country of Syria. The Russians, their stalwarts, their back-stoppers, have already uninvited the Turks from Syria. We’re a bad day away from the Russians saying, ‘Why are you still in Syria, US?’

“It has come up in the form of some close calls there, but it will be hard – I defer to the lawyers in the crowd and others in terms of international law on the basis for us staying there other than our CT [counterterrorism] writ. We went there for all the righteous reasons, but if the Russians play that card, we may want to stay and have no ability to do it.”
Пиндосы! короче, отебитесь бляди с нашей территории

July 23rd, 2017, 8:51 am


Ghufran said:

Nusra is out of Flaytah then it took full control of idleb city, next will be an attack on idleb.

July 23rd, 2017, 12:05 pm


ALAN said:

The US-Led Coalition Burns Raqqa with White Phosphorus

August 20th, 2017, 3:40 pm


Post a comment

Neoprofit AI