By The Daily Caller. The Trump administration is seeking to raise an army of Arab soldiers from Syria’s neighboring countries that would take over for American troops and help stabilize the northeastern part of the country after the defeat of Islamic State, according to U.S. officials.
John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s new national security adviser, has called Egypt’s acting intelligence chief to ask if Cairo would contribute troops to the effort, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The plan comes as the Trump administration searches for a way forward in Syria after launching punitive strikes against targets associated with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program. There are about 2,000 American troops deployed inside Syria, and Trump has expressed a desire to withdraw at least some of them this year.
Still, top administration officials say American troops will remain in Syria until the U.S. accomplished three goals: The total defeat of ISIS, ensuring chemical weapons can’t be used in any way that harms U.S. interests, and establishing a vantage point to watch what Iran is doing in the country.
As he mentioned in his address announcing the allied strikes, Trump is seeking to enlist the help of regional governments to accomplish those objectives. (Read more from “Report: U.S. Plans to Create Arab Force to Replace American Troops in Syria” HERE)
U.S. Seeks Arab Force and Funding for Syria
By CNN. President Donald Trump’s newly minted national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo are among those spearheading a push to build a coalition of Arab military forces that could replace US troops in Syria and serve as a stabilizing force in the region once ISIS is defeated, according to sources familiar with internal discussions.
While convincing nations like Saudi Arabia to join the cause is sure to come at a price, the Trump administration is considering an offer that includes putting a compelling reward on the table, a source close to the White House told CNN.
A similar concept was initially floated in 2013 as part of the Obama administration’s anti-ISIS strategy, but the idea of establishing an Arab force aligned with US interests recently picked up new momentum after President Donald Trump declared that he wants to withdraw US troops from Syria and have other countries “take care of it.”
Specifically, the US is pursuing contributions from Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help counter Iran in Syria by filling the void should the US significantly reduce its footprint in the country. (Read more from “U.S. Seeks Arab Force and Funding for Syria” HERE)