US House votes against troop pullout from Syria
The US House of Representatives votes down troops' pull-out from Syria at a time when Senate repeals the vote to end Iraq war authorization.
The US House of Representatives voted down legislation on Wednesday, instructing US President Joe Biden to end the US occupation of the Syrian Al-Tanaf region and remove approximately 900 troops.
The resolution, initially introduced by the Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz, was supported by only 103 members of Congress, as the majority of members of Congress, amounting to 321, have voted against the pull-out.
Gaetz argued that he did not believe that “what stands between a caliphate and not a caliphate are the 900 Americans who have been sent to this hellscape with no definition of victory.”
Moreover, the representative said that “Syria is my lead-off hitter. We’re going to take a trip around the globe. We may go to Yemen, we may have stops in Niger, we may have stops in Sudan, maybe ultimately, we’ll end in Ukraine."
In contrast, Texas Representative Michael McCaul and the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs falsely claimed that the “Withdrawal of this legal, authorized US troop deployment must be based on the total defeat of ISIS.”
Republican Montana Representative, Ryan Zinke, said “The hard truth is this, either we fight them in Syria, or we’ll fight them here,” adding “Either we fight and defeat them in Syria, or we’ll fight them in the streets of our nation.”
In turn, New York Democrat Representative, Gregory Meeks, stated that he opposed the indefinite presence of US troops in Syria, but Meeks believed that “This measure forces a premature end to our mission at a critical time for our efforts.”
Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, a Democrat who voted in support of the legislation, said that the bedrock of the measure was to accentuate that it is the Congress' job to “determine where and when we go to war, take on hostilities.”
In the end, 56 out of 156 Democratic legislators voted in favor of the bill, while, on the other hand, 47 Republicans supported the measure, and 171 voted against it.
Significantly, The Obama administration’s ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, a leading voice in favor of aggressively confronting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the time, also voted in support of the measure put forward by Gaetz.
In a letter addressing Congress, Ford explained that “After more than eight years of military operations in Syria there is no definition of what the ‘enduring’ defeat of ISIS would look like,” adding that “We owe our soldiers serving there in harm’s way a serious debate about whether their mission is, in fact, achievable.”
In doing so, Ford once again questions the role of occupation US forces in Syria.
It is worth reminding that earlier, The Cradle news website carried out an extensive investigation, unraveling the detailed looting operation by the US and its proxy militia, the SDF, of the sovereign country's resources through illegal border crossings into the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
The investigation report cited the Syrian Oil Ministry, which stated that US occupation forces stole over 80 percent of Syria's daily oil production, which comes close to “66,000 barrels of oil every single day.”
The #US has built quite a reputation with its thievery skills: After #Iraq and #Afghanistan, it's #Syria's turn to fall victim to US hegemony that feeds on the wealth of other countries. pic.twitter.com/Au1I01GhLF— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) February 22, 2022
US interests in Syria
US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said during a press briefing on March 6 in Washington that "Our service members are deployed in Syria in service of a goal that we share with Türkiye as well as with our other allies as well as with all members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS."
Price then reaffirmed that the alleged US goal in Syria is to defeat ISIS. Simultaneously, Price highlighted that the role of the US in Syria also serves Turkish and other actors' interests.
It is worth noting that the US has for long employed the alleged "ISIS threat" as a pretext to continue its illegal occupation of northeastern Syrian territories.
It has done so for two reasons: to destabilize the Syrian government and to pursue the systematic looting of the country's oil resources.
Reuters reported on March 4 that the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, concluded that the US occupation of Syria is still "worth the risk".
The remarks were delivered by Milley who had recently completed an unannounced visit to US occupation forces stationed in the northeast of Syria.
Army General Milley said he flew to Syria to review efforts mobilized in preventing a claimed possible resurgence of ISIS and assess safeguards for US occupation troops stationed in Syria, including Iranian-made drones.
When asked whether the alleged mission to combat ISIS in Syria was still worth the risk, Milley said "If you think that [US and allies' security] is important, then the answer is 'Yes,'" adding, "I think that an enduring defeat of ISIS and continuing to support our friends and allies in the region ... I think those are important tasks that can be done."
The General further made mention of an alleged Iranian-made drone that flew over Syria in a bid to conduct a reconnaissance operation on one of the US' occupation bases.
In January of this year, three drones targeted a US occupation base in Syria's Al-Tanf region. The US military said it shot down two of the drones, and the third one injured two pro-US Syrian militants.
US Army Major General McFarlane called the alleged Iranian attack a "distraction from our main mission," adding that "Our number one priority is the enduring defeat of ISIS. And we are making progress."
US Senate to vote to 'finally end' Iraq war authorizations
A US Senate committee endorsed legislation on Wednesday that would repeal two previous Iraq war authorizations, opening the door for a vote in the full Senate before the 20th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq.
This #AbuGhraib detainee did not want to be just a number, so he decided to speak up.— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) August 22, 2022
During his interview for #AlMayadeen, Mohammad Belandian describes the horrific scenes that he witnessed and went through in Abu Ghraib #US prison. pic.twitter.com/VPLKj887PC
In the most recent effort to reclaim Congress' control over the decision to send troops into battle, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a measure to repeal the Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq by a vote of 13-8.
The proposal may be put to a vote by the whole Senate in the coming weeks, according to Senate Democratic Majority Leader Charles Schumer. It would fall on the same day as the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.