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Lawmakers worry about securing goals in Syria as Trump looks for the exit



Images of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanese Hezbollah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah are at a souvenir shop Tuesday in the old city of Damascus, Syria. (Ali Hashisho / Reuters)

Lawmakers from Both Parties Expressed Alarm

In a House hearing, members and challenged the State Department's top officials on the Middle East and Russia to explain how the administration is planned Bashar al-Assad, Syria without President Bashar al-Assad

"As tempting as it is to say 'enough' and retreat to "House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.) said:" Our shores, smart, focused and determined engagement in the Middle East must be our approach. "

Earlier Wednesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) Trump says he does not have much of a secret president's senior national security aides.

"But I do not see this administration in any way trying to shape what's happening on the ground as it relates to this regime," Corker said at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor closed-door military briefing "unnerved," according to Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.).

With no military or diplomatic strategy, Graham told reporters, "the administration seems willing to give Syria to Assad, Russia and Iran. "

Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) Said after the meeting that "the only thing worse than a bad plan on Syria is no plan on Syria, and the president and his administration failed to deliver a coherent plan on the path forward, "CNN reported."

Congressional willingness to speak out, especially among leading republicans, follows confusing recent events that have exacerbated long-existing concerns. Assad used to be a military aid action, if President Barack Obama, while voicing support for rebels seeking to oust Assad, declined to provide them with substantial assistance, then failed to follow through chemical weapons against his own people.

Trump, while campaigning on a promise to end US Obama was segregated from the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria, which has been used in the demise of the militants in both countries.

But while Trump, unlike Obama, has been willing – both last year and again force to punish and hopefully deter Assad's use of chemical weapons, he faces the same against dilemma about Syria's future as his predecessor.

Even as the United States and its allies and partners have been destroyed the Islamic State's physical caliphate, Assad – with help from Russia and Iran – has decimated the rebels and is close to winning the civil war. Syria divided, unstable and at risk of a militant resurgence. At the same time, U.S. Allies including Israel and the Persian Gulf states, are worried that a Syria with Assad, Moscow and Tehran in control of the entire region.

Syria was twofold. Kurdish and Arab fighters, would be stabilized as a bulwark against Assad and his allies and as leverage in political negotiations. U.S.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had said in November that "we're going to make sure we set the conditions for a diplomatic solution" to the civil conflict ". , ,

Trump appeared to undercut that goal in recent weeks when he voiced, to the surprise of many within the administration, plans to withdraw US forces as soon as the last militant remnants are defeated. In turn, he has military and financial contributions from regional partners, especially among the gulf states, to send troops and pay for stability operations.

While the gulf monarchies are willing to provide financing, and have been relieved to dismiss troop deployments

Meanwhile, Trump's willingness to pressure Assad's use of chemical weapons and other accidents appeared undermined last Nikki Haley, the president's ambassador to the United Nations, was mistaken on Sunday when she announced the new sanctions on Moscow. Trump personally intervened to put the brakes on the measures to punish Russia for its support of Assad's chemical weapons use.

"Congress needs to press for Eliot L. Engel (NY), the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, said at Wednesday's hearing committee.

"The incoherence is plain to see," Angel said. "I'm not holding my breath, but I want to make a plan to push for an end to violence Bashar al-Assad has no role whatsoever. "

Russia's political future, while the UN-brokered Geneva talks that the United States and its allies have stalemated since last year. U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura said Wednesday that he has been conducting "intensive high-level consultations" around the world "with the aim of proactively ascertaining the options for a meaningful relaunch."

In committee testimony, A. Wess Mitchell, the US assistant secretary of state for Europe, said that "in the days and weeks ahead, the United States and our allies will degrade and defeat ISIS, support a stable Syria, and limit the spread of Iranian malignant influence." But neither Mitchell, nor David M.Satterfield, the acting assistant secretary for the Middle East, said that he was concerned about Iranian expansion, Royce said.

Lawmakers have met with governments across the Middle East , What they are going to say, he said, what, Jordan, to threaten Israel? Will it mean the end of an independent Lebanon? What does it mean to other partners, allies in the region? "

" What's the strategy? "Royce asked. "What's the strategy, especially in Syria?"


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