President Trump is seen showing little expression with his arms crossed in the image

In late 2018, Donald Trump ordered the immediate withdrawal of almost all US troops from Syria within 90 days. He repeated the order in October 2019. Several hundred US troops remain in Syria to this day, notwithstanding the president’s executive decisions.

Jim Jeffrey, outgoing US special representative for Syria and special presidential envoy for the Western coalition against Daesh (ISIS),* has frankly admitted that he and members of his staff deliberated obfuscated and covered up the true size of the US military footprint in Syria from the president.

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said, speaking to Defense One.

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” the veteran diplomat cheekily added, referring to Trump’s repeated orders in late 2018 and then again in 2019 to bring US troops home.

“When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story,” Jeffrey boasted.

He added that the real number of US troops in Syria today is “a lot more” than the estimated 200-400 Trump agreed to leave behind in 2019 to “secure” the country’s oil fields and prevent them from falling into the hands of the Syrian government or the terrorists.

Jeffrey, 74, served as US ambassador to Iraq under Barack Obama, and as deputy national security advisor to George W. Bush. In August 2016, he joined nearly 50 other Republican national security officials in signing a letter suggesting Trump was not qualified to be president and would put American security at risk if he won. Trump appointed him to his administration anyway in 2018. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Monday that Jeffrey would be retiring later this month.

ALSO READ  Syrian President appoints Faisal Miqdad as new Foreign Minister

Jeffrey praised Trump for achieving what he described as a “stalemate” in multiple Middle Eastern conflicts, but said he stood by his decision to add his signature to the 2016 letter attacking Trump. He also encouraged Joe Biden, Trump’s possible successor, to ‘stay the course’ laid out by him and other members of the Trump administration. He warned Biden not to try to engage in Bush-style nation-building in Syria. “I think the stalemate we’ve put together is a step forward and I would advocate it,” he stressed.

Biden is known to have been an active proponent within the Obama administration of the CIA’s ‘Operation Timber Sycamore’ to provide arms, supplies and training to the thousands of jihadist militants who signed up to fight the Syrian government starting in 2012. The covert operation was closed down by the Trump administration in 2017.

Commenting on the Defence One Story, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto noted that senior Pentagon officials told him similar stories about how they “fooled” Trump into leaving troops in Syria indefinitely.

“If you look at his tweets, they were definitive about leaving. And then we didn’t leave. And now we haven’t left, we’re still there, and that’s a good thing,” Sciutto quoted one unnamed official as saying.

Syria has reported a major uptick of US military activity in its northeastern provinces in recent months, with the region home to the vast majority of the war-torn country’s oil-rich areas needed for reconstruction.

Damascus has repeatedly demanded that all foreign forces not explicitly invited into the country by Syria’s internationally recognized government to withdraw completely and immediately.

ALSO READ  Israeli forces launch new strikes in southwestern Syria: video

Late last year, Jeffrey insisted that he had “every belief” that the US’s plundering of Syria’s oil resources was “legal under international law.”

Donald Trump began a bit of housekeeping in the US security apparatus on Monday, firing Secretary of Defence Mark Esper and replacing him with Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Centre. Esper’s termination set off a string of resignations at the Pentagon.

Republicans then rallied to the defence of CIA director Gina Haspel amid rumours that she too may get the sack. FBI director Christopher Wray is also reportedly on the chopping block, with former CIA director John Brennan speculating that the president might pursue “vendettas” against his intelligence officials, possibly for their failure to support him amid the corruption probe against the Biden family’s potentially illegal business dealings in Ukraine.

 

Source: Sputnik

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

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.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2020-11-14 21:38

Some of the stuff spoke about in this article may end with high-treason court cases.! The deep-state’s arrogance it hows by publicly boasting about some of its “achievements” whie these are stlill pretty fresh and Trump is still POTUS… USA has laws…

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2020-11-15 22:44
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

Actually, if Pompeo has gathered enough stuff while at the CIA, especially about Biden, Operation Timber Sycamore is TOTALLY ILLEGAL UNDER US LAW! If Biden is implied, it can even end with the Supreme Court cancelling Biden’s election.

john hunn
Regular
Upvoted
john hunn
2020-11-14 20:06

Jeffrey should be put in prison for disobeying a direct order–It may have been the only good thing Trump did during his term as president

Sweet Robert
Sweet Robert
2020-11-21 08:40
Reply to  john hunn

Jeffrey, the pus face corpse, is a traitor. May he burn in h**l.

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2020-11-14 20:20

“Biden…/..an active proponent of the CIA’s ‘Operation Timber Sycamore’ to provide arms, supplies and training…/…Biden family’s potentially illegal business”

Such stuff being illegal under US law. With Pompeo having led the CIA for a while, if some classified evidences get declassified by Trump, the Supreme Court may even end going as far as invalidating Biden’s election, and USA having to organise another one.