With the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria by President Trump, a number of experts have stated that the move will aid Iran and Russia in their control “over the entire arc of the Levant from Baghdad to Beirut,” according to NBC News.
Just within the last week, senior U.S. officials had argued that the American military mission was needed to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS militants and to serve as a bulwark against Iran.
But with Trump's move to pull out the U.S. troops, Russia and particularly Iran — which sent thousands of proxies and its own elite forces into Syria — stand to emerge as the dominant players in a country that shares a border with Israel.
The announcement goes against the advice of a number of national security advisors and was described as “chaotic” and “last-minute.”
The withdrawal puts members of the Trump team in the uncomfortable position of breaking the promise of a continued U.S. presence in Syria that reassured U.S. allies such as Israel, the Kurds and Gulf Arab states. The president's recently named special representative for Syria engagement, Amb. James Jeffrey, had said repeatedly and publicly as recently as this week that the U.S. was not walking away from Syria and that the military would stay.