DONALD Trump is looking to end US engagement in Syria by forming an Arab military force to replace the US presence in the region and to help stabilise the north-eastern part of the country following the defeat of so-called Islamic State, it has been reported.
A US administration official confirmed this statement, saying: “Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.A.E. have all been approached with respect to financial support and more broadly to contribute.”Trump’s new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, also reportedly contacted Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel to determine whether the North African nation would contribute to the effort.
This would be exacerbated by the uncertain role that the US would play in the project, with questions remaining surrounding whether the US would continue to provide training, support and air cover for troops.
US military officials however signalled in January that they were hoping to end their military campaign in Syria in a matter of months, but maintain a certain number of troops in the region to ensure the ongoing stability of key Islamic State locations such as Raqqa.Mr Trump also said in early April that he desired a speedy withdrawal of the 2,000 US troops currently positioned in Syria.