Fast Facts on the Impact of US Withdrawal from Syria

by Anya Razmi and Tejal Pendekanti

As Americans, we tend to only focus on what affects us. However, we must take into account how our actions impact the rest of the world. That’s why we need to understand how the United States withdrawal of troops from Syria is detrimental to Syrian citizens.

  1. ISIS influence in Syria has not been eradicated.
    • Although ISIS has lost 98% of the land it held since 2014, it still control 2% of that land.
    • ISIS also still has 2500 soldiers left.
    • It may seem like ISIS has been defeated, but terrorist groups rise and fall like waves; they can easily lose and gain power.
      • For example, the power that the Taliban in Afghanistan has also fluctuates frequently. Sometimes, they seem to be eradicated; other times, there’s a “bloody resurgence.”
    • If they were to resurface (which is a legitimate possibility), then it would be brutal for the Syrian citizens, given the cruelty of the organization.
  2. An unwinnable war suddenly becomes winnable
    • It’s easy to get confused with all of these other international players in the mix, but the main conflict is between the Assad government and Syrian citizens.
    • United States influence is the only thing that is keeping the government from winning (currently, the war remains at a stalemate).
    • If the US were to leave now, the government would gain leverage to end this war (in their favor).

3. Russia will emerge as a dominant force in the Middle East as troops withdraw

  • Russian military interference has been prevalent in Syria since 2015.
  • Russia is a known supporter of Assad, as:
  1. It has a significant naval base in Syria
  2. It benefits from arms sales to the Syrian military
  3. It wants to minimize Western, specifically American, influence and also become a leader in the region
  • Historically, U.S. troops have deterred Russian and Iranian influence.
  • Even known Trump-supporter Lindsey Graham admits, “An American withdrawal at this time would be a big win for ISIS, Iran, Bashar al Assad of Syria, and Russia.”

Ultimately, we would be signing the death sentence of Syrian citizens if we were to pull out from Syria now. The loss of American influence in this region paves way for brutality and human rights violations against the Syrian people.

Sources:

https://www.cfr.org/timeline/us-war-afghanistan

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/01/12/isis-militants-flee-syria-leave-behind-intelligence-computers/1028389001/

https://www.theskimm.com/news/2ZbSXw7UEUymcUiu6i2gkQ/syrian-civil-war

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/isis-uncovered/trump-s-withdrawal-syria-victory-iran-russia-experts-say-n950111

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2018/12/19/us-says-it-is-pulling-out-syria-who-are-big-winners-losers/?utm_term=.24d4d21e8730

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/01/12/isis-militants-flee-syria-leave-behind-intelligence-computers/1028389001/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-troops-leave-syria-president-trump-declares-victory-over-n949806

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/39554171/why-does-russia-support-syria-and-president-assad