Only fifty U.S. military personnel in Syria!

Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

By : Abdulrahman al-Rashed

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and similar groups have an army of more than 30,000 fighters in Syria. The Iranians say they are managing 100,000 fighters of different nationalities, while the Russians have around 3,000 troops. Washington has finally decided to send a force… of only 50 military personnel. We do not know they will be able to do, or the political meaning of sending them.

Everyone views this as an indication that Washington is not serious regarding anything it says about Syria, whether on the level of confronting ISIS, rejecting Russian expansion, or its keenness over a transition of power as part of a plan to end the civil war. It would have been better if Washington had not sent anyone, instead of only 50 military personnel.

It would have been better if Washington had not sent anyone, instead of only 50 military personnel

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

What was expected from it was to support the Syrian national opposition with arms, intelligence and diplomacy in order to impose on ongoing negotiations the only possible solution: a Syria without Bashar al-Assad in power, and the establishment of a transitional authority that consists of figures from the current government and the opposition. Without such a plan, the war and the presence of terrorist groups will be prolonged.


Unlike the Americans, the Russians arrived in Syria with a political message that is supported by fighter jets. They are gaining unprecedented influence as a result. However, the Russians must feel now that their air force will not end the siege on the Assad regime. Assad himself is besieged in Damascus. So far, daily Russian shelling of Aleppo governorate has only resulted in displacing tens of thousands of residents to areas controlled by extremist groups.

Syria has become more dangerous than Afghanistan in terms of threatening world security, as it is the biggest nest of terrorist organizations, and is producing trained fighters and preparing them to return home to start a new journey of violence.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. A veteran and internationally acclaimed journalist, he is a former editor-in-chief of the London-based leading Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, where he still regularly writes a political column. He has also served as the editor of Asharq al-Awsat’s sister publication, al-Majalla. Throughout his career, Rashed has interviewed several world leaders, with his articles garnering worldwide recognition, and he has successfully led Al Arabiya to the highly regarded, thriving and influential position it is in today.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in the Column section are their own and do not reflect RiyadhVision’s point-of-view.


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