00:37 GMT28 November 2020
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    Many have been critical of Obama's decision to deploy additional troops to Syria. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh told Democracy Now that he was "horrified" by the announcement, while former UN Assistant Secretary-General Hans-Christof von Sponeck referred to it as a "tragic "development" that could hamper the Geneva peace process.

    "I do not understand why [Obama's] decided to jump into a war that [is] being won right now by the Syrian army and its allies, including Russia," Hersh said. "I can just speculate that our anti-Putin, anti-Russian instinct in America continues apace. That's all."

    The journalist further praised Moscow's counterterrorism campaign in Syria. "The real winner in the last year or so of the war there has been the Russians. And the Russians – the bombing was much more effective," he noted.

    Russia has largely withdrawn its forces from Syria following a five-month-long limited engagement and has focused on pushing for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.

    However, Barack Obama's decision to increase the US military presence in Syria could adversely affect the Geneva peace process, von Sponeck noted, saying that the move is part of a "series of experiments" that Washington has conducted in the war-torn country and neighboring Iraq.

    These remarks came following Obama's Monday announcement that Washington would "deploy up to 250 additional US personnel in Syria including special forces." The move is ostensibly aimed at helping local forces to tackle Daesh, but von Sponeck offered a different explanation.

    Obama "is entering his last six months and he wants to leave a legacy that shows some sign of success," he explained.

    If so, these experiments will hardly help to achieve this goal, but could instead contribute to ruining a country plagued by a foreign-sponsored insurgency for more than five years.

    "The Americans are never short of an experiment, never short of trying something new," von Sponeck asserted. Washington "is jumping from one laboratory test to another, and in the meantime [Syria] continues to go further towards a destroyed nation."


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    military operation in Syria, jihadist rebels, Syrian peace talks, Special Operations troops, US Special Forces, radical Islam, peace process, Syrian conflict, Barack Obama, Syria, US, Russia
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