The latest confirmation from the former U.S. ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, affirms that the United States has no plans for an imminent withdrawal from Syria. Ford emphasizes that American influence in Syria is notably limited, underscoring that the Kurdish Autonomous Administration would make a significant error if it were to rely on U.S. protection.
In an interview with the Kurdish agency Rudaw, Ford stated, “Syria has not been a priority for the United States for the past decade, and even under the Biden administration, it remains a secondary concern. The Ukraine situation, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China take precedence, with the ongoing Gaza war also taking a higher priority for Biden, relegating Syria to the bottom of the list.”
Ford’s assessment suggests that a U.S. withdrawal from Syria is unlikely shortly. He explains, “The Biden administration, in my view, is hesitant to exit Syria and be perceived as unsuccessful. Additionally, the U.S. military aims to enhance the readiness of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) before any withdrawal, requiring more time for training and preparation.”
The former U.S. ambassador cautioned the Autonomous Administration against relying on U.S. protection, stating, “It would be a grave mistake for the Autonomous Administration and its leaders to depend on the United States. The American government has faced challenges in assisting the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Interim Government in Jarablus.”
Highlighting the overall limited US pressure or influence in Syria, Ford stressed the importance for SDF leaders to acknowledge the necessity of making concessions to the Syrian government in negotiations.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.