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What role should America play in the Idlib Conflict?

What role should America play in the Idlib Conflict?

The Syrian Civil War is close to reaching a breaking point in the Idlib province. The Idlib province is home to some three million people, many of whom have tried to escape the civil war in other parts of the country.

Idlib is also home to the last Syrian opposition army base. If Syrian President Bahar al-Assad is able to take over the Idlib province, then he will have control of the vast majority of the country. Iran and Russia are also doing everything they can to make sure Assad succeeds.

Russia has been supporting Assad since the beginning of the war because Russia supplies Syria with arms. Iran wants Assad to succeed because having Syria as an ally would allow for them to better send weapons and supplies to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

One country that definitely does not want Assad to take the province is the United States. People like United Nations U.S. State Ambassador Nikki Haley say that they don’t want Assad to take over the province because of humanitarian concerns.

Haley says that we should try to protect the civilians at risk in Syria, and I agree. However, it would be nice if she applied the same humanitarian concern to Yemen where 130 children die every day from starvation and disease.

The United States wants to strike in Syria and do anything to stop Assad from winning the war for the sole reason that it would be very embarrassing for them if Assad won. Our main foreign policy goal in Syria has been to get rid of ISIS. Despite this, for seven years, the United States government has pushed for the overthrow of Assad.

Imagine the United States losing another war in the Middle East: What message would that send to other countries? Would this not make Iran overconfident in developing their nuclear weapons? Iran could believe that if the United States cannot take Assad out, there’s no way they can take themselves out.

Also, what message would this send to North Korea? Would North Korea feel that if the United States cannot stop Assad from using chemical weapons, how can it stop North Korea from developing its own weapons?

The United States should keep a watchful eye over Syria but not do anything to escalate tensions. Trump’s recent two airstrikes on Syria have been nothing but a mere slap on the wrist. They have not escalated tensions.

The best strategy for the United States in Syria should be to “carry a big stick” and make sure Assad knows that if he uses chemical weapons the United States, we will respond, but the U.S. should not do anything that will increase our involvement in Syria or put more American troops at risk. France and Britain were also involved in the strike in April, so the threat would not just be coming from the United States.

The last thing any American wants is for us to get involved in another war like Iraq. In an ideal world, I would snap my fingers, and every American troop would be home, and we would not be involved in the Middle East. But we do not live in an ideal world.

In 2011, former U.S. President Barack Obama completely withdrew from the Middle East, which eventually led to the formation of a power vacuum and the creation of ISIS. Our best approach is to keep a watchful eye in Syria without escalating tensions to the point where Americans become at risk.


Feature Image: Courtesy of CBC News 

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  • AnonymousSep 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm


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What role should America play in the Idlib Conflict?