, , , , ,

By Stephen Lendman

The prospect of Washington turning a page for peace in Syria is highly unlikely. Syria remains in the eye of the storm.

On Friday, a State Department official said “(w)e have no timeline for our military forces to withdraw from” the country. Delay may turn out to be not at all.

On Sunday, a senior Iraqi parliamentarian said

“(t)he  Americans have built a military base in Erbil (in) the Iraqi Kurdistan region to use…against Iraq’s neighbouring countries, in particular Iran and Syria.”
Iraqi media said the Pentagon has 14 military bases in the country – along with a reported 18 in Syria. The US is highly unlikely to abandon them, especially ones considered most strategically important.

An earlier report indicated the Pentagon intends establishing a permanent base along the Iraqi border with Syria. Turkey reportedly established one or more military bases in northwestern Aleppo.

On Saturday, a senior Trump regime official said US forces may remain indefinitely at the (illegally established) al-Tanf base in southeastern Syria near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.

On February 7, officials from countries comprising the so-called US Middle East war “coalition” will attend a conference in Washington to discuss what follows Trump’s Syria pullout announcement.

Whatever the disposition of US forces in Syria and everywhere else, its permanent war agenda remains unchanged.

Last summer, John Bolton warned Damascus, saying

“(j)ust so there’s no confusion here, if the Syrian (forces) use chemical weapons, we will respond very strongly, and they really ought to think about this a long time.”
Not a shred of evidence suggests government forces used Chemical Weapons (CWs) at any time throughout years of US-led naked aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.

Plenty of evidence indisputably proves that US-supported terrorists used CWs many times, mainly against civilians, Damascus falsely blamed for their high crimes.

Trump U-Turning on Syria Pullout?
On Saturday, Bolton threatened Syria again, saying

“there is absolutely no change in the US position against the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and absolutely no change in our position that any use of chemical weapons would be met by a very strong response, as we’ve done twice before.”
The Pentagon notoriously uses banned weapons in all its war theatres, flagrantly violating international laws time and again – including the Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907 Hague IV Convention), the Nuremberg Principles, the UN Charter, Fourth Geneva, and numerous UN resolutions.

Banned US weapons include use of incendiary, cluster, and radiological munitions, biological and chemical agents, depleted uranium, and other toxins.

An earlier Pentagon statement said

“(a)s a matter of policy, (it) will not publicly discuss the use of specific weapons and munitions in operations.”
It lied claiming

“every weapons system in the US inventory undergoes a legal review to ensure the weapon complies with the Law of Armed Conflict.”
Since the near-extermination of Native Americans in expanding the nation “from sea to shining sea,” US forces used banned weapons, the same thing ongoing in all its active war theatres.

Claims otherwise are bald-faced lies, wanting its high crimes of war and against humanity concealed – including US support for ISIS and likeminded jihadists, along with their use of CWs, falsely blamed on Syrian forces.

On Saturday, Bolton arrived in Israel for talks with Netanyahu. He confirmed no timeline exists for withdrawing US forces from Syria.

Pentagon troops at al-Tanf are likely to stay, Israel pushing for this. On Friday, Netanyahu and Putin spoke, Israel reportedly afforded no concessions by Russia’s leader to continue aggressive aerial operations against Syria.

On Tuesday, Bolton will meet with Turkey’s Erdogan and other regime officials in Ankara, Syria a key topic to be discussed.

This week, he and Pompeo will be meeting with officials from various regional countries, including Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others – discussing US strategy following Trump’s pullout announcement.

A Final Comment

On Sunday, Bolton equivocated on the pullout of US forces from northern Syria, claiming withdrawal depends on a firm commitment by Turkey not to attack Kurds in the area, saying:

“Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfilment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see,” adding:

“It’s not the establishment of an arbitrary point for the withdrawal to take place as President Obama did in the Afghan situation…The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”
To withdraw or not to withdraw US forces from Syria may turn out to be more of the latter than the former – Trump U-turning like he’s done before.