Executive Intelligence Review


Further Effort To Sabotage Trump’s Syria Pullout Coming from Inside Administration

Jan. 6, 2018 (EIRNS)—National Security Advisor John Bolton spoke with reporters accompanying him on his current trip to Israel and Turkey, and made on-the-record statements that indicate that there is an effort underway to qualify, delay and put conditions on President Donald Trump’s announcement of withdrawal from Syria. On Jan. 6, Bolton stated:

“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal policy decisions that we need to implement.... This is a cause and effect mission. Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfillment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see. And once that’s done, then you talk about a timetable.”

Bolton also suggested that the U.S. withdrawal would not be total, pointing to the Al Tanf base in particular:

“The primary point is we are going to withdraw from northeastern Syria. So it’s going to be a different environment after we leave, there is no question about that. But there is no desire to see Iran’s influence spread, that’s for sure. Then there is the Al Tanf garrison, which is still very strategically important in connection with our determination that Iran not achieve this arc of control stretching from Iran through Iraq into Lebanon and into Syria.”

As for Turkey, Bolton said:

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the President’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered.”

News wires are interpreting this as a statement that the U.S. is going to demand of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he not attack the Kurds, as a condition of U.S. withdrawal. Turkey considers the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish militia to be a branch of the Turkish Kurdistan Worker’s Party separatists.

Bolton will be in Israel Jan. 6-7, and will then be in Turkey on Jan. 8, where he will be joined by Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.