22:18 GMT19 January 2021
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    There is no reason to doubt Donald Trump's determination to entirely pull out of Syria, Israeli publicist Avigdor Eskin told Sputnik. The publicist opined that the US president could bring his forces back to the region in case of emergency, though he stressed this is highly unlikely.

    Tel Aviv will benefit from Donald Trump's withdrawal from Syria, Israeli political commentator and publicist Avigdor Eskin told Sputnik.

    "There will be no need for any constraint in this area where the US presence was an obstacle before. Israel is not going to replace US boots on the ground in Syria but will be more active to halt Iranian military activism"," Eskin underscored.

    On 19 December, Trump announced that "after historic victories against ISIS [Daesh*]" he was pulling American forces out of Syria.

    The political commentator highlighted that although "we do not know the reasons for this timing", the move had come as no surprise.

    "President Trump declared several times that he will pull out US military from Syria".

    According to the Israeli publicist, the withdrawal is likely to result in the "rise of Turkish and Sunni influence which will have some immediate effect".

    On 23 December the US president tweeted that his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to "eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria", while American troops would be returning home.

    "The Sunni opposition to President Assad will be encouraged by the US pull-out," Eskin foresees. "The Americans had a mandate to fight Daesh there and nothing else. This was somehow beneficial for President Assad and even Iran. Now we will see more Sunni resistance and some limited involvement of the Saudis".

    There is No Reason to Doubt Trump's Intention

    Commenting on Moscow's scepticism over the US' withdrawal from the Arab Republic, the political commentator opined that Trump will deliver on his promise: "Trump means business and there is no reason for any doubt", he pointed out.

    "Theoretically, President Trump will not have difficulties to bring the forces back in case of emergency, but this is very unlikely," Eskin added.

    As for French President Emmanuel Macron's promise to maintain a military presence in the region and, reportedly, provide support to Syrian Kurds — Washington's longstanding allies in its war against terrorists — the publicist suggested that "French forces will face an uneasy choice" and that "it is quite possible that they will quit soon after the US withdrawal".

    On 25 December, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned the French that "there will be no benefit to anyone" if they remain in Syria any longer.

    Mattis' Resignation: 'Trump Cooled His Generals Down'

    It was reported that Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria was the trigger for Secretary of Defence James Mattis' resignation.

    In his letter to Trump, Mattis highlighted that he believes that the US "must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours", referring to Russia in particular. The US president's pull-out is seen by some American policy-makers, thought leaders and mainstream media figures as a move that plays directly into the hands of Russia, Iran and Damascus.

    For his part, Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, seemingly resigned over Trump's pull-out.

    "The recent decision by the president came as a shock and was a complete reversal of policy that was articulated to us. It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered," McGurk wrote in a letter to his colleagues, as quoted by the New York Times.

    "President Trump wanted to replace Mattis, it's no secret," Eskin said. "The military circles always want to have more military bases and more action. This is what the president is for — to cool down his generals".

    The US is expected to pull out its nearly 2,000-strong military contingent within 100 days. The American president has repeatedly vowed to bring American troops back home from the region. US military forces intervened in Syria under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh. The US Armed Forces maintained their presence in the country illegally, without Damascus' approval. 

    *Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the contributor and the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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