U.S. Troops Will Remain Near Syrian Oil Fields

It turns out not all U.S. troops will be leaving Syria after all. U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed that “mechanized forces” will be redeployed alongside soldiers to protect oilfields in eastern Syria. Esper made the announcement during a press conference at NATO HQ in Brussels. Esper also insisted that the U.S. mission in Syria was unchanged. Minutes earlier, President Donald Trump tweeted to explain the importance of securing the oil as part of his agreement with Turkey, saying, “When these pundit fools who have called the Middle East wrong for 20 years ask what we are getting out of the deal, I simply say, THE OIL, AND WE ARE BRINGING OUR SOLDIERS BACK HOME, ISIS SECURED!” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…

Russia continues to cement its position as the de facto power broker in Syria. A Russian-backed Syrian constitutional committee met in Geneva. For the first time in the eight-and-a-half-year civil war, the meeting was overseen by U.N. special envoy for Syria Geir Pederson. Foreign ministers from Russia, Iran, and Turkey were present at the meeting. Opening the meeting, Hadi al-Bahra, co-chair of the opposition, stated “It is time for us to believe that victory in Syria is achieving justice and peace, not winning the war. We must respect the right of families to know the fate of their loved ones.” Al-Bahra also observed that 65% percent of Syria’s infrastructure had been destroyed, as compared to 60% of Germany’s by the end of the Second World War. The co-chair for the Syrian government, Ahmad Kuzbari, said he was open to considering “any possible amendments or even a new constitution that would improve the reality of our people.” Reported by The Guardian. Read more…