The U.S. cannot control the future of Syria because it lacks a clear strategy, according to a former U.S. ambassador to Syria.
Robert Ford said it is “hard to explain” the fundamental American mission in Syria, particularly in the east, because of Washington’s ambigious strategy.
“Is it to fight Daesh? Or is it to help, promote a Kurdish Autonomous district in Northeastern Syria”, Ford asked. “Or is it to resist Iranian encouragement?”
Most of the American public doesn’t understand what America is doing in eastern Syria, he said.
Ford also voiced criticism for former U.S President Barack Obama’s Syrian policy which insisted that “there is no military solution”.
He said it was “largely wrong”.
U.S. President Donald Trump said last year it is time to bring troops home after claiming to liberate last Daesh strongholds in the country, the only publicly declared reason for intervening in Syria.
White House’s decision to pull the troops from the war-torn country has not materialized yet facing fierce opposition from Pentagon and other defense decision-makers.
Assad regime does not care about Syrians
“If Assad has not recaptured all of the country yet, there is no doubt in my mind that he will continue to try to do so,” Ford said.
He stressed “heavy” U.S. economic sanctions against the Syrian regime would not bring “significant political solutions” because the Bashar al-Assad regime “does not care about the well-being of Syrian people.”
He said he is surprised Assad has not “outplayed” U.S. in eastern Syria.
It would not have been so hard for the Syrian government, working with Russian mediators, to cut a deal with YPG/PKK terror organization, Ford said.
He added that it is also surprising how Assad didn’t make those promises he could have done.
The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people.
The YPG has managed to occupy one-third of Syria under the guise of fighting against Daesh with U.S. air support.
The U.S., which considers the PKK a terrorist organization, changed the YPG’s name to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in July 2017 in order to dissociate it with the PKK.
In the last two years, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, allowing hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians to return to their homes.
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