President Trump has ordered the pullout of US troops from Syria.
And you may say, “I didn’t know that we had US troops in Syria.”
Yes, indeed there are 2,000 US military troops in Syria (population 18 million) who have been there since early 2017 to bomb the ISIS terrorists who were tearing Syria apart, train the Syrian military and to defend, if necessary, against the last remnants of the terrorists who have imposed years of bloodshed on that nation.
President Trump vowed to end the war in Syria by “bombing the sh** out of ISIS” and he succeeded. That war has largely ended. According to the Washington Examiner:
On Jan. 20 (2017) — the day Trump was inaugurated — an estimated 35,000 ISIS fighters held approximately 17,500 square miles of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
As of Dec. 21 (2017) the U.S. military estimates the remaining 1,000 or so fighters occupy roughly 1,900 squares miles of mostly barren desert primarily in Syria, where few people live, and where they will be forced to surrender or die.
Thus the Trump-ordered campaign killed tens of thousands of ISIS fighters in less than one year with precision bombing by US military fighter jets. This campaign not only killed these terrorists but injured tens of thousands more and discouraged the rest of the fighters, most of whom went home. They are unlikely to regroup and return.
This is a huge turnaround from just a few years ago when ISIS seemed invincible. Remember? When Obama was president we all were quaking in our boots at the mere mention of ISIS.
Obama could have wiped out ISIS with a simple command, as Trump did, but he chose not to. Obama wanted the Middle East taken over by radical muslims and the extermination of Christians from the region. Obama did this because Obama is at heart a militant muslim who hates Christians.
Those ISIS terrorists rose to power in Iraq after Obama foolishly pulled US troops out of Iraq in December 2011. Many top US military officials warned Obama not to do it, that Iraq was not ready for such a withdrawal.
But Obama did it and ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) rose up and began to attack an Iraq weakened from almost 9 years of war. ISIS then moved into Syria where rebel forces already were waging a low-grade war against a government led by president Bashar al-Assad. It then became a high-grade war when ISIS joined the fight.
Nikitas3.com knows about Syria and has supported al-Assad for years. A Syrian Christian family at my church told me about the situation. They told me that al-Assad is authoritarian but that he was keeping Syria stable and peaceful and allowing the country’s 2 million Christians to live and worship in peace. Christians even hold many high government posts in Syria, which is a secular muslim-majority nation.
Sadly the brother of my Christian friend was kidnapped in 2015 and has never been heard from again.
The ISIS terrorists are sunni muslims. This means that they come from the same sunni sect of islam as Saddam Hussein, the Iraq dictator toppled by US forces in the Iraq war. Hussein was vicious, as are the ISIS terrorists. ISIS wanted revenge for the deposing of Hussein and the loss of sunni power in Iraq.
Al-qaeda terrorists in the region are backed by Iran and are based in the shia sect of islam, which now controls Iraq through popular elections. Sunni and shia are like Protestants and Catholics – two branches of the same religion.
Dictators like Saddam Hussein were brutal but they were keeping the peace in a volatile region. Like al-Assad in Syria, Hussein “protected” Iraq’s Christians, i.e., they were allowed to live peacefully and practice their religion without interference since Hussein’s secular police state was kept stable through brute force.
The Bush decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was one of the worst foreign policy decisions in the history of the United States. Bush’s historic legacy will be one word – Iraq.
In the Iraq war 4,373 American service personnel lost their lives and 32,226 were injured, many critically. This does not even include hundreds of thousands of US soldiers who returned home with PTSD and other debilitating after-effects of this awful war. Or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens who were killed and injured. Or widespread destruction of the nation of Iraq.
The financial cost to American taxpayers of that war?
It is in the trillions.
Since the beginning of the Iraq war, Iraq’s 1.5 million Christians have been largely displaced and many have been killed. It is a very sad story. Many Christian churches have been destroyed.
Syria today is 90% muslim but Syria was one of the homes of early Christianity. It was in Antioch, Syria that Christians were first called ‘Christians’. This happened in the 1st century AD, a full 500 years before the muslim prophet Mohammed was even born.
(The oldest organized Christian sect that still practices today is Coptic Christians, based in Egypt. It was founded in the year 42 AD by the evangelist Mark. Egypt today is 91% muslim (90 million muslims, 9 million Copts.)
The 2,000 US troops in modern-day Syria have sided with, and been guests of, the Assad government and, besides the bombing campaign, have generally been on a defensive training mission for the Syrian military. Some elite special forces soldiers have mounted offensive ‘kill or capture’ missions against ISIS.
Trump has won a decisive victory at very low cost but has received no credit in the Trump-hater US media. And with the mission completed Trump has decided to bring the troops home. There have been three US military deaths in Syria. President Trump said:
“I get very saddened when I have to write letters or call parents or wives or husbands of soldiers who have been killed fighting for our country. It’s a great honor. We cherish them. But it’s heartbreaking. There’s no question about it. It’s heartbreaking. ”
“Now we’ve won. It’s time to come back. They’re getting ready, you’re going to see them soon. These are great American heroes. These are great heroes of the world because they fought for us but they’ve killed ISIS, who hurts the world. And we’re proud to have done it.”
The pullout of US troops is part of president Trump’s vow not to get involved in ‘endless war’ and nation-building in the Middle East. He is not going to risk any more US blood and treasure. Good for him.
There certainly is some risk involved in pulling out US forces but al-Assad appears to have the situation in hand. If ISIS should rise up again – which does not seem likely – America can easily put that small number of troops back in in short order and ramp up a new bombing campaign quickly.
The Middle East is a very dangerous place. We should not be destabilizing it by starting wars and invading countries and overthrowing leaders. Trump’s campaign was successful and non-invasive. That was smart.
President Trump said of the fallen US troops in Syria: “And I’ll tell you, they’re up there looking down on us, and there is nobody happier or more proud of their families, to put them in a position where they’ve done such good for so many people. So our boys, our young women, our men, they’re all coming back. And they’re coming back now. We won.”
God bless our US military and our brave soldiers.