On Thursday, Donald Trump took to Twitter in his usual fashion to brag about his “historic victories” against ISIS in Syria, claiming victory in the region and insisting that it’s time to bring home our troops, despite warnings from high-ranking officials, including the now-former Secretary of Defense, General Jim Mattis, who resigned from his post today because of Trump’s decision.
After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home! pic.twitter.com/xoNjFzQFTp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
Trump’s claims of “historic victories” against ISIS are of course blatantly false, as it remains clear that ISIS is still extremely active in the area. US-backed Kurdish forces warn that a US withdrawal from the region will have extremely dangerous consequences. Whatever positive progress we’ve helped our allies accomplish in Syria will be all but undone, and we can expect a heavy ISIS revival in the region as a result of Trump’s hasty, ignorant decision.
But perhaps the most disturbing part of this entire situation, is that Russian President Vladimir Putin is thrilled with Trump’s decision, calling it “correct” and stating that the US is no longer needed. The base that Trump is closing first is one that Putin has continuously complained about.
According to Buzzfeed News:
‘The US is set to withdraw from a special forces base in Syria that has been the subject of repeated Russian complaints, and that some US officials have cast as a key part of US efforts not just to defeat ISIS but to counter Iranian influence in the country.
‘Muhannad al-Talla, a rebel commander at al-Tanf, a US base near the Syrian border with Jordan, told BuzzFeed News that the base would see the withdrawal of the US troops who have trained and fought alongside rebels there, adding that he was helping to inventory and remove equipment. A US official confirmed that US troops will leave the base as part of President Trump’s decision to pull US forces from Syria.’
According to The New York Times, Putin said:
‘Now, the majority in Congress will change and one can project with 100 percent certainty that there will be new attacks launched against the incumbent president, and whether he will be able to launch a direct dialogue with Russia, I don’t know,” Mr. Putin said.
‘Mr. Putin said he broadly agreed that the Islamic State, sometimes known by the acronyms ISIL or ISIS, had been defeated in Syria, although analysts estimate it still commands a force of 15,000 fighters. “With regards to the victory over ISIL, on the whole I agree with the president of the United States.”’
Putin also expressed skepticism as to whether or not Trump would follow through with his plan, stating:
‘We don’t see any signs yet of the withdrawal of U.S. troops. How long has the United States been in Afghanistan? Seventeen years? And almost every year they say they’re pulling out their troops.’
But no matter what Putin says, the fact remains that Trump’s decision to leave Syria will only benefit Putin in the long run, in his quest to make Russia a dominating power in the Middle East.
‘”For now, it is really good news for Putin,” said Konstantin von Eggert, a political commentator on the independent Russian TV station Dozhd. “Putin’s main goal from Day 1 of his intervention was to establish himself as the global authority to prevent regime change. In this he has succeeded.”’
Trump gave Putin a huge victory today, and that in itself is absolutely terrifying. By leaving Syria, the United States will no longer have any control over Iranian influence in Syria. That will be all in the hands of Russia. Think about that for a minute… Does that sound like Trump has American interests in mind? I don’t think so.
Featured image via YouTube screenshot