Earlier this month, a Trump administration official told Congress that Washington’s goals for the outcome of Syria’s civil war remain “within reach.”
Those goals are the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State, a political solution to Syria’s near decadelong conflict and the withdrawal of Iranian-led forces from the country. “Our leverage in Syria is increasing,” Syria envoy Joel Rayburn told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
But veteran officials of the three-year-old policy have been showing signs of doubt, particularly about Iran’s military presence in the war-torn country.
“Are we ever going to get to a place where Iran does not have forces in Syria?” said Michael Mulroy, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, during a think tank event on Dec. 17. “I mean, people that are smarter on this than I have told me, no, that’s not going to happen,” he said.
Mulroy, a veteran CIA paramilitary officer who worked on Syria during his time at the Pentagon, suggested that minimizing Tehran’s influence in the Levant should remain a US goal. “Maybe we should have a smarter take to it,” he added Thursday.
Read the complete article at: Al Monitor