Trump withdraws troops from Syria

9 months ago Triangle 0

Written by: Josh Bianchi, assistant editor

WASHINGTON D.C. — President Donald Trump announced on Sunday October 13 that the United States has reached a permanent ceasefire in northern Syria. This announcement comes amidst a nearly decade-long battle in the Middle East to install a strong government and stabilize a war-torn regime. 

The United States officially entered into the Syrian conflict in 2014 when it began supplying food, vehicles and intelligence to the anti-government faction during the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. The Syrian National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the two main anti-government factions, opposed the regime of Bashar Al-Assad and the iron-willed government that he headed. 

As the country spiraled further into chaos, ISIS and Al Qaeda found opportunity to seize territory and entered into the fight as a third party. Very quickly, many of the Western powers, such as the U.K., France, Germany and others joined the US while the FSA, Russia and Iran backed the Syrian government and Al-Assad. 

The fighting continued for five more years as the amount of intervention escalated. While the United States began with aid and intelligence, it soon began a bombing campaign, destroying ISIS strongholds and taking territory for the FSA. Eventually, military presence was necessary to deter attacks on strategic locations such as oil fields, with around 1,000 soldiers deployed accordingly. 

Although they seldom saw combat, several American servicemen were killed, with more injured. Thousands of civilians were also displaced in the fighting, prompting a migrant crisis and leading to many civilian casualties. Both the Russian-backed Al-Assad regime and the Free Syrian Army were guilty of killing civilians in crossfires and bombing accidents.

During the Syrian Civil War, the United States took the opportunity to further end the reign of ISIS in the Middle East, undertaking several campaigns to destroy ISIS strongholds. These campaigns ended with the Battle of Raqqa, the final chapter in an 11-month long campaign to take the capital of the ISIS caliphate. By October 20, Raqqa was officially declared to be neutralized, and the United States celebrated the defeat of ISIS, turning its attention back to the civil war. 

The Obama administration began with a covert mentality to the intervention, but as tensions increased and the opportunity to strike a killing blow to ISIS revealed itself, soldiers were put into combat. However, some argue that U.S. presence in Syria is no longer necessary since ISIS was defeated.

President Trump’s decision to remove the military is seen by Republicans as an important step in making sure that the United States does not overstep its boundaries in diplomacy. 

After coming under fire for his plan to remove all military presence, the President later amended it to include provisions for approximately 200 soldiers to remain behind to defend oil fields and ensure that ISIS remains subdued. 

Joshua Bianchi is the assistant politics and philosophy editor for the Bryan Triangle. He is a sophomore psychology major with an emphasis in leadership and cultivation. Joshua enjoys ideas and arguing, as well as Italian food.