US Syria envoy: Trump’s “miss understood”


Trumps decision, troops from Syria to deduct, had shocked the US allies. In the DW-broadcast Conflict Zone of Syria-Officer of the White house defended the retreat.

Already in December 2018 Donald Trump had declared the war against the so-called Islamic state was won. Thus, the US President justified his decision, 2000 American soldiers out of there. These troops-withdrawal of U.S. special representative for Syria, James Jeffrey defended, now in the DW program “Conflict Zone”. Trump was misunderstood, so Jeffrey, in conversation with DW-Moderator Tim Sebastian in Washington.

US patrol in the valley of Abjad – this Region was previously controlled by the IS

“President Trump has at the time, and the other commanders made it clear that he loses the compass in the fight against the Islamic state,” said Jeffrey. “It is clear that the IS could regroup.” Jeffrey rejected Sebastian’s throw that trump’s decision was a costly mistake and a misleading guide to.

“The Problem has changed”

Trump’s decision was criticized by leading members of Congress as “abrupt” and “chaotic”. It eventually led to the resignation of Secretary of defense James Mattis, and the US special envoy for the International Alliance against the Islamic state, Brett McGurk. Trump later added, that a residual force of American soldiers to stay in Syria.

“It’s not that we think that the Problem is solved,” said James Jeffrey of the DW. “The Problem has changed only fundamentally, because we have defeated the ISIS as a political force. Trump is right when he says that.” Jeffrey goes even further and says that you “rarely have I seen a Declaration of a victorious political Power, which is closer to the truth than what was said by Trump.”

“No Complaints”

Jeffrey also answered questions about a report of the inspector General, the Overseas operations, such as the supervision in Syria. It had been mentioned that the troop withdrawal had weakened the support for Syrian ally – and this at a time in which they needed more training to respond to a resurgence of the IS.

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“I know that General inspectors were about to release your never deliberately false statements,” said Jeffrey. “But you don’t publish often correct Statements, which are based on a false representation or one-sided information.” Jeffrey stressed that he had received no complaints about a lack of American support, and not a resurgence of the IS know.

“Should have asked for advice”

DW-Moderator Tim Sebastian pointed out that General Joseph Votel, commander-in-chief for the US forces in the Middle East, have confirmed to the Congress, the US President, neither before his decision to the Council asked to be informed. Votel had said in February that the IS have still, fighters and funds, and thus a further US presence in the Region was necessary.

Not asked, not informed: the U.S. General Joseph Votel

It was not a “blatant failure” to inform Votel, said Jeffrey to. The troops, which perform Trumps commands “but would have to probably be asked for advice,” says Jeffrey. After some Grass had grown over the thing, I heard the President, however, to the critics and decided to leave a residual force in Syria. 200 soldiers are to be used, therefore, in the North-East of Syria, with a further 200 in the South of the country, where Iran’s activities are to act.

Three goals of the USA in Syria

Jeffrey said that the Removal from Iran befehligter forces would be one of his three main objectives in the Region. “I don’t know of anyone within the U.S. government, does not think that Iran’s Encroachment, its hegemonic tendencies, its use of asymmetric warfare in the Region as a whole is the greatest danger to security in the Middle East.”

Jeffreys second goal was to find a “different political solution for Syria”. He added that the US would get the “unremitting pressure” on the Regime of Bashar al-Assad in an upright position. “It is a different matter, if Assad is ever due to the numerous war crimes before the court. Would deserve it, in any case,” said Jeffrey. “But we don’t think that Assad has won the war. Jeffrey’s last goal? A permanent defeat of the so-called Islamic state. “ISIS is now a terrorist organization similar to Al-Qaeda,” he said. “This makes us Worry, and that’s where we concentrate.”