BEIRUT, LEBANON (1:15 A.M.) – The U.S. military presence in Syria has many benefits for Washington, as it allows them to not only fight the Islamic State (ISIS), but also, to counter Iran in the region, Assistant Defense Secretary Robert Karem said on Wednesday.
While speaking to the House Armed Services Committee, Karem said that the U.S. is able to confront Iran in Syria because it would not be legal under the existing war authorizations that were passed by congress.
“Our military operations in Syria are squarely focused because of the authorities we have been provided against ISIS and al Qaeda,” Karem told the House Armed Services Committee.
“It is, of course, the case that our presence in Syria, our military presence has residual benefits, benefits for our diplomats who are trying to seek a negotiated end to the conflict and residual benefits because it can help deter activities from other adversaries,” he continued.
“There are aspects of our military operations or presence that can be useful in countering Iran,” he added.