US President Donald Trump has announced that he planned to maintain a military base in Iraq since he seeks to quell discontent among Republicans over his decision to pull out US troops from Syria, Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev said on Thursday.
On Wednesday, at his meeting with US troops in Iraq, Trump declared that the United States was not planning to withdraw its forces from the Middle Eastern country.
On December 19, the US leader announced his decision to start pulling out American troops from Syria, stressing that the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) had been defeated and this was the only reason why the US forces had remained there under his presidency.
“Having stated, during a surprise visit to Iraq that he intended to keep a military base in that country as an advanced springboard for actions in Syria, US President Donald Trump is trying to have it both ways. On the one hand, he still wants to demonstrate the intention to abandon the role of global policeman with the subsequent mission where American blood is spilt for the sake of a country, about which most of them can’t find on a map. On the other hand, Trump certainly needs to quell discontent among the Republicans related to his decision on withdrawing US troops from Syria,” Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Federation Council’s (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote on Facebook.
The Russian senator recalled that Trump’s decision to exit Syria served as grounds for the resignation of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis, who was apparently “more popular in Washington than Trump.”
“I believe that the statement won’t change anything in this situation. The Americans are in Iraq (unlike in Syria) on somewhat legal grounds as they support the local government’s struggle against the militants,” Kosachev said. According to him, if the US seeks to also deliver a strike on Syria, hardly any reasons, except for domestic political ones, would stop it.
Kosachev stressed the necessity at all levels to tell Washington that military action in a neighboring country without the consent of its leadership and the UN Security Council’s mandate amounts to coercive intervention in a sovereign state’s affairs and fulfilling the mission of a global policeman, which no one assigned to Washington.