Around 900 US troops remain illegally stationed in Syria, controlling large swathes of the country’s oil-rich regions
A War Powers Resolution that would have ended the US army’s illegal occupation of Syria was struck down late on 8 March by the House of Representatives in a 103-321 vote.
The bill, introduced late last month by Republican Matt Gaetz, garnered the support of 47 Republicans and 56 Democrats – including several members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
“There is no role for the United States of America in Syria. We are not a Middle Eastern power. We have tried to build a democracy out of sand, blood, and Arab militias. Time and again, the work we do does not reduce chaos. Oftentimes, it causes chaos – the very chaos that then subsequently leads to terrorism. While today’s vote may have failed, my fight to end forever wars and bring our troops home has only just begun,” Gaetz said in a statement following the vote.
“We have to also acknowledge Syria and Iraq are the two countries on the planet Earth where we have done the most to fund ISIS. We give weapons to these so-called moderate rebels,” Gaetz continued, referring to Washington’s policy to arm rebel groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
“The United States is not the world’s policeman, and it is incredibly unwise to promote this level of involvement in international disputes … Continuing to dump trillions of dollars into these endless wars is irresponsible, runs contrary to America’s economic and security interests, and unnecessarily places American lives in jeopardy,” Republican lawmaker Cory Mills said during the debate on the house floor.
Had the bill been approved, the White House would have had six months to withdraw all troops from Syrian soil. Around 900 US troops are currently deployed in the Levantine nation, controlling nearly a third of the country and a large portion of its oil fields.
Their deployment is illegal under international law as it was not approved by the government in Damascus. Moreover, former US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump deployed the troops without congressional approval, abusing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in 2001 in the wake of the 11 September attacks.
Lawmakers who voted on Wednesday to maintain the occupation argued that a withdrawal from Syria would mean the “revival” of extremist groups.
“The hard truth is this, either we fight [ISIS] in Syria, or we’ll fight them here … in the streets of our nation,” Republican Ryan Zinke proclaimed.
Same tired propaganda–