The former American ambassador in Damascus, Robert Ford, said that American policy in Syria was “in a state of chaos” and revealed that the ongoing negotiations among officials in his country’s administration around the American withdrawal did not succeed in reaching a consensus with regards to what America’s national interests in Syria are. Ford, who also worked as his country’s ambassador to Algeria and as a researcher at the Middle East Institute in Washington, said in an article published in the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper, which is based in London and owned by the Saudi regime, that American policy in Syria is in a state of chaos.
Initially, US President Donald Trump announced that they would withdraw troops within 40 days. Those 40 days turned into four months. At the start of last week, the Trump administration changed its decision and announced that it would leave 200 soldiers in eastern Syria, and then after two days, this was raised to 400 soldiers. Ford revealed that intense negotiations were in full swing now inside Washington with regard to the pullout of the occupying American forces from Syria. He said that these negotiations had not succeeded in reaching consensus with regards to what America’s national interests in Syria were.
He said, “The 400 soldiers should provide protection to the Syrian Kurds.” He claimed that, “There is a strong emotional connection between the Americans and their Kurdish allies, and the Americans still hope that Turkey will accept local self-rule by Syria’s Kurds. But they cannot say this directly to Ankara.” Ford said in June 2017 in a statement to the same paper that, “the Kurds will probably pay the price for their trust in the Americans.”
Ford said at the time, “American officials are using the Kurds in a tactic and temporary manner.” He quoted American officials at that time as saying that, “the Syrian Kurds are making a major mistake trusting the Americans.”
Ford said in his article yesterday that the Europeans could accept the American request and send some forces to northern Syria. He added, “Even if they send forces, no one in Washington or London or Paris knows what the long-term solution in Syria is.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.