In October 2019, President Donald Trump announced that the US would be withdrawing its forces from Syria, but eventually backtracked, saying that some American soldiers would stay behind to allegedly “keep” the Syrian oil from being seized by ISIS*.
Iran’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Majid Takht-Ravanchi has called for the immediate and full-fledged withdrawal of US troops from Syria.
All foreign forces whose presence is not permitted by the Syrian government must leave Syria”, the diplomat told a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, in an apparent nod to the USA.
He questioned American forces’ current role in Syria, insisting that instead of fighting terrorism, they “continue supporting UN-designated terrorist groups such as al-Nusra Front* as well as helping ConocoPhillips looting the oil and wealth of the Syrian people”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier noted that Tehran would work to strengthen economic cooperation with Syria amid Washington’s restrictive measures under the US Caesar Act, which stipulates sanctioning almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as government officials.
Ambassador Takht-Ravanchi’s statement comes a few weeks after Jim Jeffrey, outgoing US special representative for Syria and special presidential envoy for the western coalition against Daesh, told the news outlet Defense One.
Defense One said that he and members of his staff deliberately covered up the true size of the US military footprint in Syria from President Donald Trump.
What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal”, Jeffrey said, referring to Trump’s repeated orders in late 2018 and then again in 2019 to bring US troops home.
The actual number of US troops in Syria is “a lot more” than the estimated 200-400 that POTUS agreed to leave behind in 2019 to “secure” the country’s oil fields and prevent them from falling into the hands of the Syrian government or other terrorists?
American troops, jointly with the Arab-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), maintain control over a part of northeastern Syria as the US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes and other operations against terrorists in Syria since September 2014.
The coalition operates in Syria without the approval of the Assad government or any UN Security Council authorization.
Damascus, in turn, sees the US presence on Syrian soil as a violation of national sovereignty and an attempt to seize the country’s natural resources, while putting an hostile embargo on Syria oil imports?
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2020.