USA signals deeper commitment in Syria

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"The American military presence on Syrian land is illegitimate and represents a blatant breach of global law and an aggression against national sovereignty", the statement said. The United States now has about 2,000 ground forces in Syria. He said the US also would push for broader political changes in the Middle East country. "As we have seen from Iran's proxy wars and public announcements, Iran seeks dominance in the Middle East and the destruction of our ally, Israel".

Cardin said he is disappointed that Tillerson would announce a significant change to United States policy in Syria during a speech without first consulting Congress.

And by declaring ending Iran's influence as an explicit goal of USA foreign policy in Syria, he may be imperiling United States troops, a prospect that has long-worried U.S. military officials, who remember the lethality of Iranian-origin explosives on United States forces who fought in Iraq a decade ago. And Republicans and Democrats in the USA have grown anxious that both of Assad's allies are now entrenched in the country, with Iran in particular posing an immediate threat to neighboring Israel.

Tillerson said his country called on all nations to exercise discipline in economically pressuring Assad and rebuilding Syria after a political transition. Previously, the USA strategy in Syria had operated within the narrow lines of battling the Islamic State.

However, the USA diplomatic chief noted that the radical group has not been completely defeated, and "the United States will continue to remain engaged as a means to protect our own national security interest".

It said Syria "does not need a single dollar from the USA for reconstruction because this dollar is stained with the blood of the Syrians".

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Syria's Foreign Ministry says the U.S.is beyond its rights to intervene in Syrian affairs, one day after the Trump Administration laid out its expansive goals to influence the outcome of Syria's seven-year long civil war.

However, he said Washington and its allies "will not provide worldwide reconstruction assistance to any area under control" of the Syrian government, and urged "all stakeholders in Syria's future to do the same". United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura announced Wednesday that the U.N. would host the Syrian government and opposition for peace talks in Vienna on January 25 and 26.

Tillerson also urged Russian Federation to play a "meaningful" role in handling the Syria issue.

The White House has tried to hide the number of USA troops in Syria, leaving that information out of the public section of a legally required accounting to Congress of American forces in combat zones overseas.

The growing tension between Damascus and Washington came amid the backdrop of the recent decision by Washington to form a 30,000-strong border forces in northeastern Syria. Russian Federation called the plans a plot to dismember Syria and place part of it under USA control, and Turkey described the force as a "terror army".

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