Conflict a certainty should US withdraw

Conflict a certainty should US withdraw

So American President Donald Trump has surprised the world once again, this time by declaring his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria. It is true that most of what Trump does seems surprising. However, the announcement on the withdrawal from Syria was not expected at all, especially since the American president seems on the verge of a confrontation with Iran over the future of the nuclear deal and Tehran’s meddling in the region. Is the withdrawal from Syria a step back from that confrontation? 
Days have passed since Trump’s declaration but nothing is clear yet. Hence it is hard to picture the future of Syria and the region amid this new void if the US really does withdraw. If it happens, it would pave the way for countless confrontations, and the regional divisions would see new forms of conflict. 
The US withdrawal from Syria would mean a certain confrontation between Turkey and the Kurds, which would also mean an increase in the confrontation between Israel and Iran. 
Above all, an American withdrawal would allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to be the biggest player and maybe even the only one in Syria, which would have repercussions for Syrians and the region as a whole. Most importantly, the American withdrawal would mean keeping Bashar Assad in power despite all his crimes. 
Trump’s decision is not at all similar to that of former President Barack Obama when he withdrew US troops from Iraq, which led to handing the country over to Iran. Despite the disastrous decisions of both Obama and Trump — handing over the region to international and regional powers with hegemonic ambitions like Russia and Iran — the circumstances of the decisions differ. 
Obama tried to say that the American mission in Iraq had ended, while Trump seems to want to leave Syria to fall into chaos and cause hostilities among the rival parties.

The US withdrawal from Syria would mean a certain confrontation between Turkey and the Kurds, which would also mean an increase in the confrontation between Israel and Iran. 

Diana Moukalled

By this decision, Trump seems like he wanted to say that the world’s biggest power is not responsible for what is happening and can withdraw at any moment, thus leaving the field to several evil powers. 
Once again, Syrians are left highly vulnerable under a regime that killed them and destroyed their country, while Syria itself is left as a field of conflict for many forces and armies.
Interpreting this step as a prelude to a US confrontation with Tehran, especially amid a worsening in relations with Moscow after Washington expelled 60 Russian diplomats, means that we are on the verge of more wars in the Middle East. 
The frightening thing is that the only possible result of this shocking step is an Israeli-Iranian war in the center of Syria and in its south, and Turkey swallowing up parts of the north and east.
Moscow will most likely not be able to manage this violence, and Washington, which is allowing matters to move out of its control, will most likely be unable to control the consequences.
By withdrawing its troops from Syria, the US is underestimating the lives and destinies of peoples and countries in crisis. This step also shows an inability to calculate the repercussions on Washington itself, in terms of the fall back in position, role and impact. But this is politics to Trump, who leads the world’s biggest state exactly how he leads his companies. To him, allies are just clients and wars are just business deals.  

• Diana Moukalled is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in both traditional and new media.
Twitter: @dianamoukalled
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view