U.S. remains in Syria to avert Russian, Iranian influence - The National Interest

The U.S. plans to remain in Syria is not about securing oil fields in eastern Syria but thwarting further influence of Russia, Iran and Bashar al-Assad, conservative U.S. outlet The National Interest said on Sunday.

"For now, it seems the heavy armored infantry are deployed in Syria not so much to reap profits from oil fields as to prevent other actors in Syria’s multi-faceted conflict—ISIS, Iran, Russia and to Bashar al-Assad’s government, from profiting from their absence," The National Interest said.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the bulk of around 1,000 U.S. troops from Syria provoked outcry in Washington as it allowed expansion of Russian and Iranian presence in the region and clear the way for Turkey to launch a military offensive against the Kurdish-led militias that had fought in the U.S.-backed coalition against ISIS. The U.S. president said it was time to withdraw U.S. troops from what he called endless wars in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, despite Trump’s statement that U.S. troops were pulling out of northeast Syria, the U.S. president the country's military would continue to secure oil fields currently held by the SDF around Deir al-Zor in eastern Syria.

"But the weeks since, the United States has deployed over 3,500 more troops to the Middle East—including hundreds more troops in another region of Syria dispatched at the end of October," the magazine said.