The US decision to redirect $230 million from so-called “stabilization efforts” in Syria will allow Russia and Iran to strengthen support for Syrian President Bashar Assad, Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Robert Menendez said in a press release Friday.
Earlier in the day, the State Department announced that it was redirecting $230 million in Syria’s stabilization funding to other foreign policy priorities yet to be determined.
“[Trump] is rolling out the red carpet for Russia and Iran, who will seize the vacuum of US presence and assistance to double their support for the Assad regime,” said Menéndez, who is one of the drafters of the US’ newest sanctions against Russia.
Without funding for “stability”, Menéndez added, Syria will remain a threat to Israel’s security.
Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a press statement on Friday that the US government will continue to fund the Al-Qaeda-affiliated White Helmets’ operations in Syria.
“This decision does not represent a change in Washington’s commitment to its goals in the Middle East country,” the spokeswoman said.
In a separate teleconference with reporters, Nauert said that the former US ambassador to Iraq, Jim Jeffrey, was appointed to serve as a representative for Syrian engagement. During the same call, a State Department official said the United States has made clear to Russia that no reconstruction funding for Syria will be provided until the UN validates an irreversible political process in the country.
Although Menédez thinks the US will ‘lose’ Syria to Iran and Russia, the reality is that Syria has already successfully resisted US imperialist aggression with the help of Iran and Russia, virtually defeating the terrorist forces that have been funded by the US’ “stabilizing.”
Prolonging the war in Syria with US funds does not change the fact that Syria remains an independent and sovereign state despite the billions of dollars wasted by the US, Israel and Arab Gulf states to change this reality. This is a lucid example of US imperialism being successfully resisted in the Middle East.