Biden Admin Considers Backing Out of Syria in Face of Iranian Proxy Attacks: Report

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January 24, 2024

President Joe Biden's administration is reportedly considering withdrawing American troops from Syria amid attacks from Iranian proxies in the region.

Four unnamed sources in the State Department and Defense Department told Foreign Policy that, although there is not yet a final decision on the matter, the White House considers a U.S. presence in the country unnecessary. Officials within the administration are discussing internally the details of a potential withdrawal, according to the outlet.

America maintains about 900 troops in the country who, along with local Syrian partners, attempt to contain the Islamic State terror group and prevent its resurgence. Middle East Institute senior fellow Charles Lister, who authored the report for the magazine, said that taking them out of the country would "create a disaster."

"Given the disastrous consequences of the hurried exit from Afghanistan in 2021 and the impending U.S. election later this year, it is hard to grasp why the Biden administration would be considering a withdrawal from Syria," Lister wrote. "No matter how such a withdrawal was conducted, it would trigger chaos and a swift surge in terror threats."

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for an explosion in Iran at a memorial for military commander Qassem Soleimani earlier this month. Amid the threat of its resurgence, U.S. troops have also faced attacks from Iranian proxies in Syria as well as Iraq. Between the beginning of Israel's war on Hamas and Christmas, American service members in those countries came under attack nearly 100 times.