French diplomats are alarmed by the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Le Figaro reported, citing high-ranking officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to the French media outlet, France has been losing political leverage in Syria from the very onset of the crisis, and US President Donald Trump’s decision to bring the troops back home may have dealt a fatal blow to Paris’ diplomatic capabilities.

“If they leave, our ground forces will be forced to follow them. Western countries risk losing the only remaining trump card – north of Syria”, one source told Le Figaro.

On the other hand, diplomats are not losing heart: since Trump’s announcement, the French authorities have been trying to talk the US president out of the pull-out or, at least, to put it on hold, the newspaper claims.

Paris has been providing an array of reasons to halt the implementation of Trump’s surprise decision, including the risk of chemical weapons attack, protection of US-backed Kurdish militia, Iran’s alleged attempts to entrench itself in Syria, as well as that the fight against Daesh* was far from being over.

One insider claimed that it was President Emmanuel Macron who had convinced Trump to postpone the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Despite these efforts, France has lost its clout in the Middle East, the author of the article suggests. Paris’s goals in the country remain unchanged – fight against terrorism and political settlement of the conflict, without which Daesh’s defeat seems to be impossible.

“The victory of Bashar al-Assad and the Russians will not allow it to restore the geostrategic balance and peace between various communities. New elections and new constitution are essential. […] We have to face the reality: there are some things that we cannot do, and our influence has been reduced. After the withdrawal of Americans our capabilities to control the internal situation in Syria will be extremely limited”, one of the sources said.

ALSO READ  Syrian Army gears up for strategic battle in northwestern Latakia: map

According to Le Figaro, Trump’s policy towards Syria was “promising”: unlike his predecessor, Barack Obama, he didn’t “ditch his French allies at the last moment”, he, instead, ordered two rounds of airstrikes on Syria since taking office in 2017.

Still, France, as one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, may take action with regards to a peace agreement in Syria, once it’s reached, Le Figaro says.

On top of that, France remains the only country, besides Russia, that maintains contacts with all parties of the conflict in the region.

“At some point, Paris will inevitably take part in the settlement”, a diplomat told the newspaper.

Yet Le Figaro noted that France’s diplomatic prospects are quite bleak: Russia, Iran and Turkey have caused a “short circuit” in the UN, having deprived Paris of leverage, while confidence in their American ally has been undermined.

“And the fact that the US policy towards Syria and Iran manages to be inconsistent and controversial at the same time is unlikely to stop Donald Trump from leaving the Middle East one day”, another diplomat said.

In mid-December 2018, President Trump announced that he was ordering a full and immediate troop pull-out from Syria, having declared victory over Daesh.

Although he didn’t provide the exact timetable for the departure, the announcement was met with regret – and condemnation – by a number of American and foreign officials.

Last week, his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, announced that France would maintain its military presence in the Middle East as part of the international coalition throughout the year 2019.

ALSO READ  Fierce clashes breakout in northern Aleppo after Kurdish forces attack Turkish military base

“The announced withdrawal of our American ally should not deflect us from our strategic objective to eradicate Daesh”, Macron said.

The French president’s statement came a day after a suicide bombing claimed by Daesh killed at least 16 people, including US servicemen and civilians, in Manbij, Syria.

 

Source: Sputnik

Advertisements
Share this article:
  • 157
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    157
    Shares

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Long Live Syria
Guest
Long Live Syria

All for nothing. Europe, UK & US have to accept the fact that President Assad has won the war against the terrorists with the help & support from Russia & Iran. Syrians need a stable government and have faith in President Assad. There is no further point in destabilizing Syria. This is what happened in Iraq and when the Americans left with the dumb Prez Mission Accomplished statement DAESH was born.

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@Long Live Syria, what does Assad’s victory have to do with Europe?

Nothing.

p.s. Except that France and Germany supplied arms to Kurds to prevent an IS genocide. And that some EU countries bombed IS.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
willyvandamme

Bulgaria trough the US and Saudi-Arabia delivered weapons to ISIS even after they took Mosul in June 2014. ISIS is a US creation. See the report by Conflict Armaments Research on the weapons of ISIS. It’s EU financed. See also the secret DIA report dated August 2012 on Syria and Iraq. It contains the first mention of the name ISIS, 18 months before it became known to the outside.

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@willy, wrong wording. You have to say: the US and the KSA issued fraudulent end user certificates and delivered arms they had bought in Bulgaria…to their terrorist mercenaries in Syria.

Your phrasing put the legal blame on Bulgaria to prove me wrong. The US and KSA miss-conduct (they gave arms they had bought to terrorists) has nothing to do with Europe or Bulgaria as producer.

p.s. I know the EU financed CAR project. It is one of my most reliable sources.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
willyvandamme

No I don’t think so. Bulgaria produced Soviet-style weapons to the US and SA and they knew well it wasn’t for local use (both countries don’t use this type of armaments) meaning Bulgaria was certain the end user certificate was fake. The US and SA are all guilty of war crimes because they resold (or gave them) to IS. So the three of them are guilty. And one can be certain this trade was known to the EU-leaders. They just turned a blind eye. In fact the EU in May 2013 made a decision to allow weapons to be exported… Read more »

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@willy, Not the EU but US are the guilty part. I have electronic copies of end user certificates. The purpose of the certificates is to certify that the buyer is the final recipient of the materials. In one of my copies from 2015 United States Special Operations Command Perry Florida certifies to the Government of Serbia… for 120 mm mortar shells to go to Al Salem Kuwait for exclusive use its own use, its NATO partners in support of US training, security assistance and stability operations. CAR (Conflict Armament Research) report “…many of these transfers (of weapons and ammo) have… Read more »

Member
Newbie
Commenter
Upvoted
Karel Vd Geest

Like Turkey France is a second rate power. Like Turkey, France has some problems having to accept this, both having had large colonial empires. Both reduced to smaller entities with a diminished political and military power.

Member
Regular
Upvoted
gzman501 .

A commenter once told me that France had no colonialist tendencies anymore, so what does this mean;”our capabilities to control the internal situation in Syria will be extremely limited” ? ‘France has contacts with all the parties involved’, that part is no lie, they’re in bed with the jihadis as much as US/UK/Israel/NATO/Turkey are. Macaroni should not expect his troops to remain throughout 2019 if the Buffoon actually does remove US troops. That of course apparently is only 2,000 troops…sure. So how many are actually there and are they going to leave too?

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
leon mc pilibin

This is all about,OIL;OIL;OIL;OIL;OIL;OIL;OIL;And anybody that thinks otherwise is an idiot.

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler
Member
Regular
Commenter
John Cesaro

If the French are so worried then let THEM send more troops

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Actually, the main problem at Macron’s level is… he has been a bit greedy with miitary budget and French militaries are already heavily implied (with great success) at liquidating jihad in western/center Africa. In fact, what is necessary to mainly deter the main problem = Erdogan, is more EU implication, especially Germany. Thus, this leverage can absolutely work efficiently since US are just into withdrawing their boots = only about 2,500 in Rojava, not the backing on SDF and SDF is doing pretty great at ground level. In fact, the 3rd dimension is the way and EU partners can greatly… Read more »

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
willyvandamme

France, and the EU have acted as a total fool and a war criminal of enormous proportions. They still think of themselves as the Great French Nation. In fact they hardly have any influence in the world and the Middle East. They are a medium sized economic power. Only this bunch of fools and criminals like the US, UK and France working hand in hand can have some influence. But as Syria has clearly shown even here it’s limited. The only result are massive killings and seldom seen destruction. Indeed something Macron and the others with their Arc de Triomphe… Read more »

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@willy, the US have acted as as a total fool and a war criminal of enormous proportions. A/RES/2625(XXV). Several EU governments warned about the dangers of giving arms to vetted terrorists. The EU funded and financed the CAR project to prove this point.

Only the medium sized countries of the EU combined can have a influence that is comparable to the US, China or Russia. France has realized this long ago. Else the EU would not have been founded. The UK was never part of Europe but an US and Five Eyes submarine in the EU. God bless Brexit.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
willyvandamme

France was not an innocent bystander, it took active part in this war, even today as Georges Malbrunot in Le Figaro this week again pointed out. France still thinks it is a great power who has to meddle in the business of other countries certainly when they feel it’s part of their (lost) empire. Fearing they might lose influence to their Nato ‘partners’ like Italy, US and the UK. In ranking of power purchasing parity the IMF ranks France number 10 in the world. It’s not even half the strengt of China and beneath Russia and Indonesia. They all supported… Read more »

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@Willy, I agree with You: France doesn’t have the money to be a great power to meddle etc. & think itself la grande nation… According to SIPRI Military Expenditure Database: France ranks sixth with 57.8 bln $. For this France spends 2.3% of the GDP.

France participated in the rocket attack on Syria after the US & UK claimed chemical weapons use. This Allied attack with no UNSC endorsement was an illegal act of aggression that contradicts the UN Charter and its principles. Those three countries arbitrary claimed the powers of litigator, judge and executioner.

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@Willy, But no, I do not think there is any evidence that France was with those Friends of Syria who carelessly supported “vetted” terrorist mercenaries only to find that IS had received the free handouts.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
willyvandamme

In mid May 2013 the EU under heavy pressure from France and the UK allowed weapons to be given/sold to these jihadist head choppers in Syria. This was when previously al Qaeda & Co took over de oil wells East of the Eufraat. ISIS oil was sold in France by the son of Erdogan later in 2015. France is as guilty as is the UK and the US. I remember that in 2012 there were rumours of French armed agents being caught in Syria.

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@Willy, I know of no decisions, documents or reports of EU states weapons of war sales or donations to terrorist or non state entities in Syria and Iraq. All EU weapon exports by law must be to state entities giving proper end user certificates. OSCE Decision No. 5/04 how proper certificates must be.

p.s. The only exception I know is that Kurdish self defense forces received weapons and training by the governments of Germany and France when genocide had already started. And only the Sultan says they are terrorists.

I have no idea what the UK 5 eyes state did.

Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
willyvandamme

Check the internet, it was taken around and before the 23th of May 2003 after many hours of arguments within the council of foreign ministers and together with the decision to lift the embargo on trade with Syria regarding oil. It was in the media at that time but low-key. At the same time articles appeared in our newspapers regarding the threat of terrorism in Europe by these head choppers. Remember the Netherlands also recently admitted to given military material to these thugs.

Member
Famed Member
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Stern Daler

@Willy is 2003 in the time frame of this oil war on Syria?