Executive Intelligence Review


Pentagon Standing By for Possible White House Orders To Adjust Mission in Syria

July 25, 2018 (EIRNS)—Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters yesterday that, so far, the Pentagon has not received any orders to do anything different in Syria as a result of the July 16 summit in Helsinki between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. At this point, the U.S. military in Syria is only engaged in “deconfliction” with the Russians in order to avoid any conflict.

However, and importantly, Mattis further said:

“But we will not be doing anything additional until the Secretary of State and the President have further figured out at what point we are going to start working alongside our allies with Russia in the future. That has not happened yet and it would be premature for me to go into any more detail at this point, because we’re not doing any more than this.”

His remarks are in contrast to the comments made by Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, who indicated in a number of venues since Monday that he would not recommend expanding U.S. military engagement with the Russians beyond the deconfliction line.

Mattis was speaking on the occasion of a 2+2 meeting involving himself and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and their Australian counterparts, held in Palo Alto, California.