It’s like they just cycle these agendas – when you get sick of one, they remove it for a while, then bring it back 18 months later.
Russian forces are encroaching on U.S. troop-controlled territory in eastern Syria — part of what officials say is a deliberate campaign to squeeze the U.S. military out of the region, according to two current U.S. officials and one former U.S. official.
The growing friction between U.S. and Russian troops in Syria comes against a backdrop of deepening mistrust between the national security community and President Donald Trump’s White House over dealings with Moscow. The tension burst into the open last week with revelations that Russia’s secretive military intelligence service offered bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan. Lawmakers demanded answers this week amid bipartisan anger that the Trump administration has known about the bounties for months but has not yet authorized a response to Russia.
For years, the two countries have at times supported opposing sides in the long-running civil war — with Moscow propping up Syrian President Bashar al Assad and Washington eventually supporting Kurdish fighters who have pushed for de facto autonomy from the regime. Yet over the course of the war, the U.S. and Russian militaries have communicated regularly in order to deconflict their respective forces on the crowded Syrian battle space. In the first years of the Trump administration, the White House even pushed the Pentagon to increase cooperation with the Russian military in Syria, three former Trump administration officials said.
The directive was disturbing to some members of the national security community, given that Russia has committed war crimes against civilians in Syria.
“They told us we needed to work with Russia and not just ignore them,” said one of the former officials. “We did it, but limited it to just [deconfliction].”
Clashes between Russian and U.S. forces in Syria have rarely turned violent, with one notable exception. In a bloody four-hour battle in 2018, American commandos killed 200-300 pro-Syrian government forces, including Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group.
Recently, however, American military leaders in Syria are facing increasingly frequent brushes with Russian troops, according to two U.S. officials and one former U.S. official. Russia is deploying its forces closer and closer to U.S. positions in the Deir Ezzor region of eastern Syria, and the two militaries interact multiple times a week, if not daily, compared to roughly monthly last year, the people said.
So far, the two sides have been able to defuse these incidents without violence, said one U.S. military officer. But one of the U.S. officials said Russia and its Syrian and Iranian partners are trying to pressure the U.S. out of Syria altogether.
Firstly – why are US troops still in Syria? What is the point of this? Is it still because of human rights and democracy?
Secondly – citation needed on that claim that Russia has committed war crimes. That is actually just blood libel.
Imagine the US Military accusing someone else of war crimes in the Middle East. It’s cartoonish.
The US Military is an occupying force in Syria. The government of Syria has asked them to leave, and they will not leave. They have spent years funding and training terrorist groups.
Russia, conversely, was invited to Syria to fight terrorists. These two forces are thereby not comparable.
This is stupid.
If Joe Biden gets elected, they’re going to bring back all these wars, by the way. Just so you know. Another thing to look forward to.