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US plays dangerous game in Syria

China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-09-10 09:31
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US soldiers patrol in the northeastern Syrian village of Jawadiyah in Hasakeh Province, near the border with Turkey, on Aug 30. [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE]

DAMASCUS, Syria-The presence of United States forces in Syria since 2014 has done nothing to help end a civil war and only increased instability in the country, political experts said.

The US intervention-without Syria's consent-was begun on the pretext of fighting radical groups such as the Islamic State, which was created in the wake of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The experts pointed out that ever since the US launched an international war on terrorism following the Sept 11 attacks, its policy has been defined mainly by military interventions to reshape the Middle East in accordance with its own vision and agenda, not for the benefit of the people in these countries.

Muhammad Omari, a Syrian political expert, said terrorist threats still exist in Syria and that the groups behind them are covered by foreign powers, which provide them with arms and other military equipment to prolong their existence and further destabilize the country.

It's no secret that the US supports the Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria and encourages the rebels to create a form of regional autonomy in the area.

Imad Salem, another political expert, said the US military presence has impeded any progress that the Syrian army could make in areas east of the Euphrates region, which is controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF.

The US doesn't really want to fight terrorism and its existence in the region has only brought "destruction and catastrophes", Salem said, adding that Washington not only supports the SDF but also emboldens the sleeper cells of the Islamic State to "carry out operations targeting the Syrian army, especially in the Syrian desert".

The analysts also believe that the US is conniving in the terrorist groups' theft of oil and other natural resources in Syria, worsening the tough economic situation of the Syrian people.

"Today there are sanctions and economic terrorism imposed on Syria amid a lack of capacity by the Syrian state to provide basic needs of the Syrian people" due to economic pressure, Omari said.

These actions are conducive to "creating a climate for growing terrorist organizations in the country", Omari said.

The political expert said the rates of terrorist and extremist incidents in Syria were much lower before the US forces entered the country.

"I believe that the military occupation and the devastation, destruction, economic and social effects it leaves behind, ... create a suitable environment for terrorist organizations to exist and grow in these countries," Omari said.

Lack of necessities

The experts said that the US has taken control of key gas and oil fields in eastern Syria while imposing suffocating economic sanctions to throttle the economy in government-controlled areas. These actions have worsened a shortage of basic necessities amid skyrocketing prices.

The dire situation in Syria has spillover effects. A direct result of the economic situation is the refugee exodus to Europe, and new flows add to the refugee crisis there, the experts said.

They believe that the real intention of the US is to weaken Syria and force the government into succumbing to the US policy in the region and accepting Washington's dictates.

With time, the example of Syria will make it clear that the US strategy only serves to destabilize the Middle East while doing little to keep terrorist organizations at bay.

A sure conclusion, Salem said, is that the staggering costs of the "war on terror" and its impact on the Middle East have created instability, chaos, destruction, and insecurity.


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