Aaron Y. Zelin is the Gloria and Ken Levy Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy where his research focuses on Sunni Arab jihadi groups in North Africa and Syria as well as the trend of foreign fighting and online jihadism.
Articles & Testimony
If the Syria withdrawal proves inevitable, officials should push to phase the departure, keep U.S. forces at Tanf, maintain the air campaign, forge a counterterror agreement with Turkey, and take other fallback measures.
President Trump backed up last week’s reckless decision to withdraw the U.S. military from Syria by claiming that the Islamic State has been defeated there. His advisors disagree. It appears the president didn’t get the memo, or maybe he did and just chose to ignore it. Either way, hastily withdrawing U.S. forces will have numerous negative consequences. First and foremost, cutting and running will breathe new life into ISIL and could benefit al-Qaeda’s operations in the area as well...