The Trump administration is developing a new strategy for the war in Syria that would focus more heavily on pushing Iran’s military and its proxy forces out of the country, NBC news said on Tuesday.
According to five people familiar with the plan, it would emphasize political and diplomatic efforts to force Iran out of Syria by squeezing it financially. It would also withhold reconstruction aid from areas where Iranian and Russian forces are present.
The US would also impose sanctions on Russian and Iranian companies working on reconstruction in Syria. NBC News added that the Trump administration believes its renewed sanctions are having an impact already, and with continued economic pressure Iran will have trouble paying its forces in Syria.
The White House and State Department would increase their focus on countering Iran by squeezing them economically and diplomatically, NBC news said. It cited a US administration official as saying that “the United States will continue to seek to hold Assad accountable for his crimes.”
Meanwhile, the US envoy for Syria James Jeffrey reaffirmed the “US administration’s commitment to achieving a political solution to the conflict in line with UN Security Resolution 2254” at a meeting with officials of the Syrian Coalition on Tuesday. He said that such as solution must produce “a secure, stable, and pluralistic Syria, as well as a Syria that ceases being a state sponsor of terrorism, does not threaten its neighbors, and removes all Iranian-led and Iranian proxy militias.”
Head of the Syrian Coalition’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Ahad Steifo, lauded the visit by the US envoy. He noted that the United States has begun playing a new role in Syria, stressing that this role will be important to push the political process ahead and rebalance it in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 2254. He said that this process must be aimed at building a stable, safe state that is free from the Assad regime and the Iranian terrorist militias. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)