The U.S. military has been engaged in fighting ISIS in Syria, but the Trump administration has also been vocal about the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s government. There continues to be a stalemate regarding a political solution for Syria, with Iran and Russia continuing to back Assad and other countries giving support to the Syrian rebels.
With the increasing influence of Iran in Syria, however, the U.S. appears to be taking the bold step of continuing their presence in the country. According to comments by the U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, the U.S. military will remain in Syria until Iran backed troops have left the country.
“We’re not going to leave as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian borders, and that includes Iranian proxies and militias,” said Bolton outside of the UN General Assembly session in New York on September 25.
This is a radical change from the original goals outlined by President Donald Trump, who said that the U.S. military would leave Syria after ISIS had been defeated.
Members of the Trump administration also indicated that they will no longer tolerate the spread of the Iranian regime’s disruptive influence throughout the Middle East. Bolton pointed out how the Iranian regime has increased its efforts to build more capable missile systems, while also pointing out how it represses the Iranian people, including activists. He noted that foreign citizens are being held in Iranian jails without legal representation or a fair trial.
The Iranian resistance continues to voice support for tougher policy against regime, calling for Iranians to demand regime change in light of the mis-management and corruption of the Iranian regime.
The U.S. is also attempting to rally its European allies who are still trying to save the JCPOA, which is considered in danger of falling apart with the renewal of U.S. sanctions. European companies have already started pulling out of Iran and many countries have reduced their oil exports from the country prior to the enforcement of the November sanctions.
“It is incumbent on every country to join our efforts to change the regime’s lawless behavior,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “The ongoing, multinational, multicontinental behavior of Iranian malign activity leaves no room for indecision.”
He also commented on the efforts of European countries to evade sanctions, while Iran’s terrorist activities extend to Europe, which includes the recent attempt to bomb the Free Iran gathering of members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition of Iranian resistance groups that call for regime change. This coalition includes the PMOI/MEK and other groups, many of whom continue to agitate for change within Iran itself.