Syria Sends First Message to President Biden: Withdraw Troops, Stop Stealing Oil

Biden has yet to set out a clear strategy for Syria, but his campaign has sought to distance itself from Trump’s approach.

“The Trump administration has repeatedly fallen short on U.S. policy in Syria,” the president’s official foreign policy statement says. “Biden would recommit to standing with civil society and pro-democracy partners on the ground. He will ensure the U.S. is leading the global coalition to defeat ISIS and use what leverage we have in the region to help shape a political settlement to give more Syrians a voice.”

Though Biden remained critical of the Syrian government, he appealed to all sides of the conflict, and vowed to restart humanitarian efforts paused under Trump.

“Biden would press all actors to pursue political solutions, protect vulnerable Syrians, facilitate the work of non-governmental organizations, and help mobilize other countries to support Syria’s reconstruction,” the statement said. “He would recommit the United States to lead on humanitarian issues.”

Biden’s choice for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, who served as Obama’s deputy national security adviser, also acknowledged last year that the Obama administration’s Syria approach had “failed” as it was unsuccessful in preventing the conflict from spiraling out of control, leading to widespread loss of life and displacement.

Blinken was confronted with these remarks and past decisions on foreign policy in Syria during a confirmation hearing Tuesday.

“We, and I, certainly, have an obligation to determine from everything we’ve done, advocated, to take into account the results and to inform how we think about these problems going forward, Blinken said, adding that he’s “done a lot of hard thinking” about past approaches to issues like Syria.

“I am proud of the fact that I have spent all of my career during the times I’ve been in government for the better part of 25 years working to advance our diplomacy,” Blinken said, “to do everything we possibly can to make sure that diplomacy is the first answer, not the last answer, and that war and conflict is a last resort.”

Trump administration officials entered into a behind-the-scenes dialogue with Damascus over the fate of missing U.S. nationals Austin Tice and Majd Kamalmaz, as Newsweek reported in October. In exchange for cooperation on the issue, Syrian officials demanded the withdrawal of U.S. troops from a southwest desert garrison in the rebel-held region of Al-Tanf and sanctions relief.

Conflict is not Syria’s only major concern.

The country is beset by a worsening economic crisis exacerbated by financial woes in neighboring Lebanon and the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the region and world. During Wednesday’s remarks, Jaafari lambasted the U.S. and its allies for maintaining strict sanctions against Syria.

“The United States and the European Union continue to impose more coercive measures on Syria and other countries,” ignoring the calls of the United Nations to put an end to these measures,” Jaafari said, emphasizing that “the coercive economic measures imposed on Syria hinder the purchase of medicines and humanitarian needs and the provision of food baskets to those who deserve it.”

Source: Newsweek

  1. Sally Snyder says

    Here is an article that looks at the most recent moves by Congress against Syria:

    Washington simply cannot admit that its efforts in Syria have come to naught and that Bashar al-Assad has not followed the examples of Muammar Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein.  

    1. melville pouwels says

      except for having Russia in your back yard

    2. mary e says

      We know that the US president is not the real mover and shaker – there is that evil financial group, the Rothschild run gang, that truly rules the world and the US and its
      hegemonic moves in and against other countries

  2. ken says

    The deep state won’t allow the new Uncle Joe any more wiggle room than it did Trump. The whole sordid bunch in DC are a criminal gaggle of fascist thieves and killers. They don’t even try to hide it at this point in time. They will be taken care of by the rest of the world in due time as it has always been in the past.

    1. Vonu says

      Uncle Joe has 47 years of experience in going exactly what he is told.
      Trump has never had any such experience.

    2. mary e says

      We can only hope that will be the case….the US has monkeyed around in Syria taking over its prime agricultural land and it high output oilfields for too long…what business do they have there anyway? NONE

  3. yuri says

    amerikan sadists have one objective—suffering
    these sexually repressed culture less puritans care less about policy
    “amerikans have always been genocidal, enjoying killing from afar”. Philip Slater

  4. Vonu says

    Humanitarian considerations wouldn’t have become necessary if the US State Department hadn’t been running a proxy war against Syria and attempting to assassinate Bashar al-Assad for as long as it has been in our perverse interests to do so.

  5. mijj says

    > “Though Biden remained critical of the Syrian government … “

    why does the mass murdering, terrorising, subverting, looting US government feel obliged to pass virtuous judgement?

  6. Andra Saltzberg says

    “…diplomacy is the first answer…” Not a surprising comment from a deluded
    US “diplomat” who spent 25 years contributing to the diplomacy of over
    20 Million dead worldwide at the pleasure of the US.

  7. yuri says

    now reported biden sending more troops; trump wasn’t fascist/racist enough for amerikans

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