After worries that the United States was attempting to open a new front in the middle east, the White House is reportedly attempting to enlist Arab nations to take over for the United States in Syria.
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that U.S. officials have reached out to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to give billions of dollars and contribute military resources to secure Syria after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is defeated by the United States and her allies.
In one of his first assignments, National Security Adviser John Bolton is also reaching out to the Egyptian government to enlist their support.
Anonymous military officials claimed to the Wall Street Journal that the Arab states “would be difficult to convince” if the U.S. withdrew its forces entirely. President Trump remains steadfast in his desire to withdraw from the country once ISIS is defeated.
The developments comes on the heels of a recent wave of targeted missile attacks by the United States, France, and the United Kingdom against Syrian dictator Bashir Al Assad’s alleged chemical weapons facilities. President Trump initiated the action after Assad was blamed for a chemical weapons attack against civilians.
“America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria,” he said during an address to announce the missile strikes. “It’s a troubled place. We will try to make it better. But it’s a troubled place.”
But Trump sought to distance himself from committing himself to keeping the United States presence within the country after ISIS is defeated. “The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people,” he said.
Trump however did offer up a compromise of sorts, when in a press conference with Baltic leaders. The United States would stay in Syria if other Arab states, like Saudi Arabia, pay for the cost of the mission.
But unless the Arab states decide to take up the president on his offer, Trump has reiterated his desire to end U.S. involvement in Syria quickly, “I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home.”
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday also walked back earlier comments that he convinced President Trump to stay in Syria, saying that he now has no daylight between President Trump’s desire to defeat ISIS and leave Syria.
“The White House is right in saying that the military engagement is against Daesh and will stop the day the war against Daesh will be over. France has the same view,” Macron said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS.