BEIRUT, LEBANON (9:40 P.M.) – During a briefing for the U.S. envoy to Syria James Jeffrey this week, the diplomat was asked how and when will America withdraw from Syria.
“Well, the United States forces are in Syria for one mission, which is the enduring defeat of ISIS/Daesh. That is a military mission that flows from congressional authorization in 2001 against terror post-9/11. That’s the military mission of our military there,” he began.
Following his mention of Daesh, the U.S. envoy then turned his attention to Iran, who he said must completely withdraw their forces from Syria before America would consider leaving.
“When we say we’re going to be present not forever in Syria but present until our conditions – enduring defeat of ISIL, as was said earlier, the withdrawal of all Iranian-commanded forces from the entirety of Syria, and an irreversible political process.
Jeffrey said that the U.S. will continue to apply pressure on the Syrian government through sanctions and other financial measures like restricting reconstruction funds.
“Also economic, both sanctions on this regime every way possible – we’re announcing them all of the time, including particularly our focus is on oil transfers from Iran to Syria and money back. We’re pursing that very aggressively.
“And finally, our position, which has an awful lot of support, not to push refugees back, not to recognize the regime, and in particular not to allow reconstruction funds to flow to Syria until we see real progress on these other tracks,” he would add.