What Is the United States Doing in Syria?

What Is the United States Doing in Syria?
Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:49:43

The US and a number of its allies have been conducting air raids against what they claim to be Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.

The coalition has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians and destroying Syria's infrastructure. 

Last October, the US administration abandoned its efforts to build up a new militant force inside Syria to combat Daesh, acknowledging the failure of its USD 500-million campaign to train thousands of militants.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

The US said it will instead use the money to provide ammunition and some weapons for groups fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

US officials said at the time that the Defense Department’s training sites across the Middle East, including the ones in Turkey and Jordan, would soon suspend almost all operations.

They unveiled a revamped program that briefly screens Arab militant commanders of existing Syrian units before equipping them with ammunition and arms.

The decision to end militant training was taken after mounting evidence showed the mission had resulted in no more than a handful of American-coached militants.

Later, dozens of US special operations troops were deployed to Syria to “help organize” the militants fighting on the ground against government troops.

The Syrian government and its allies have questioned US objectives in the Arab country.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

In an October 2015 interview, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cast doubt on US-led airstrikes in Syria, saying it is unclear “why the results of so many combat sorties are so insignificant.”

Lavrov said Washington must decide whether its aim is to eliminate terrorists or to use extremist forces to pursue its own political agenda.

“Maybe their stated goal is not entirely sincere? Maybe it is regime change?” Lavrov said.

The Russian minister also said weapons and munitions supplied by the US to the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition” were ending up in terrorist hands.

“I want to be honest, we barely have any doubt that at least a considerable part of these weapons will fall into the terrorists’ hands,” Press TV reported.

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