Southforward.com – US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the withdrawal of US troops from Syria in the near future would be a strategic blunder. He said Syrian President Bashar Assad would take advantage of the absence of US troops there.
Speaking at a meeting of Defense Minister NATO member states in Brussels Mattis claims that the withdrawal of US troops from Syria will depend on the success of UN-brokered Geneva talks.
“In Syria, leaving the field before a special envoy Staffan de Mistura achieved success in advancing the political process of Geneva that we all signature under UN Security Council resolution would be a strategic blunder, weaken our diplomats and give terrorists a chance to recover,” said Mattis, as reported by Sputnik on Sunday (10/6).
Mattis then warned that the withdrawal of US troops from Syria would create what he called “emptiness”, where Assad and his allies will take advantage of the emptiness.
“Our military campaign in Syria continues when the operation finally ends, we must avoid leaving a vacuum in Syria that can be exploited by the Assad regime or its supporters,” he added.
The US and NATO have a history of creating “emptiness,” especially when the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. After Saddam Hussein stepped down, the United States immediately left Iraq for granted, which eventually led to feuds, which ultimately created a conductive situation for the birth of terrorist groups, including ISIS.
The Western invasion of Libya, which culminated in the killing of Muammar Gaddafi, also left a once-prosperous country in a state of chaos and lacked effective central government.