Biden Falsely Claims US Military Does Not Have any Troops in Syria
President Joe Biden has falsely claimed that the United States does not have military troops deployed to Syria, despite the fact that American occupation forces are systematically plundering natural resources and smuggling basic commodities out of the war-ravaged Arab country.
During an interview with ABC News broadcast on Thursday morning about the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden defended himself against fierce criticism for the messy decision and subsequent Taliban control over the country this month.
He pointed to Syria and East Africa as areas where terrorists pose a greater threat to Americans than Afghanistan, and argued the US does not have a sizable military presence in those areas yet.
“Al-Qaeda, ISIS (Daesh), they metastasize. There’s a significantly greater threat to the United States from Syria. There’s a significantly greater threat from East Africa. There’s significant greater threat to other places in the world than it is from the mountains of Afghanistan,” Biden said in the interview.
“And we have maintained the ability to have an over-the-horizon capability to take them out…. We don’t have military in Syria to make sure that we’re gonna be protected,” the president said.
This is while Politico and CNN news network reported in July that the US currently has roughly 900 troops deployed to Syria.
“Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are three completely separate issues and should not be conflated,” a senior Biden administration official recently told American weekly news magazine Newsweek.
“On Syria, we do not anticipate any changes right now to the mission or the footprint,” the official told the magazine, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. Damascus says the deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.
Former US president Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in Syria for its oil.
After failing to oust the Syrian government through proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.
Last June, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria with the purported aim of choking off revenue sources for the government.
The sanctions, however, have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by prohibiting foreign companies from trading with Damascus.
Syria says the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods.
Officials also say the stepped-up smuggling of strategic Syrian resources is the latest inhumane tactic using people’s basic needs as a tool to pressure the government.
Last April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the United States makes use of the Daesh terrorist group to impede a political solution to the decade-long crisis in Syria and supports terrorists in flagrant violation of international resolutions.
Lavrov said the US has occupied lands in Syria and continues to plunder its natural wealth, including oil, gas, and wheat, and escalates tensions to destabilize the war-torn Arab country.