Jan 21, 2019
On January 11, the U.S. military announced that it was in the process of withdrawing all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria, which is what President Trump had promised three weeks before.
The U.S. military’s announcement didn’t give any specifics of where these troops are going. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that a convoy of U.S. armored vehicles that was the first of the pullout from Syria was seen traveling to the border with neighboring Iraq, only a few miles away from where they had been based. Permanent bases in Iraq near the Syrian border are being built to house these U.S. forces, according to the Arabic-language Al-Maloumeh news website.
The withdrawal from Syria does not at all constitute a reduction from the 102,000 U.S. soldiers and private contractors stationed in at least 27 bases in 12 Middle East countries (not counting those in Syria). The U.S. military is simply shuffling its troops from one country to another.
When the U.S. military began its troop withdrawal from Syria, it demonstrated just how massive its forces really are. It brought in an entire F-35B squadron of fighters on board the USS Essex, as well as two Navy amphibious ready groups and about 4,500 shipboard Marines on standby in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
U.S. military spokesmen claimed that this massive military presence surrounding Syria on land, sea and air is simply to support the American troops. But in reality, it is much more than that. It is a demonstration by U.S. imperialism that no matter whether U.S. troops are permanently based in Syria or not, the U.S. military is ready to invade or bomb the country at a moment’s notice.
Trump’s promises to withdraw U.S. troops from the Middle East are completely bogus, just like those of his predecessors, Clinton, Bush and Obama. No matter what these presidents say, the U.S. military is not pulling out of the Middle East, because it is there to defend the interests of the big U.S. oil companies, banks, and military contractors – that is, U.S. imperialism. And in the process, U.S. imperialism is fomenting endless wars and laying waste to an entire region of the world and all of its peoples.