MESOP NEWS REPORT : US GENER AL DUNFORD’S 7 MEMBER TEAM IN SYRIA
7-Member US Team to Stabilize Syria
The US is sending a civilian team into Syria to try to bring stability to areas taken from the Islamic State. It has seven members.Some of the State Department officials and security personnel have arrived in Syria. They will organize efforts to clear ISIS roadside bombs and to restore electricity and access to clean water. They will not be involved in any other reconstruction efforts.
The State Department said: Our efforts in post-ISIS areas will be strictly focused on stabilization and thus meeting the immediate needs of civilians in order to enable them to return home and to prevent the return of ISIS. The efforts are limited to the provision of humanitarian assistance, clearing explosive remnants of war, and the restoration of essential services.
That is a narrower remit than that suggested by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, when he promoted “an ongoing effort, led by the State Department, to put together a governance body so that as soon as Raqqa is seized, there is effective local governance”.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in testimony last week before Congress, said the administration did not yet have “a fully fleshed out” strategy for maintaining stability in Syria and Iraq after the Islamic State is defeated. Testifying before Congress last week, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis admitted the administration does not yet have “a fully fleshed out” strategy for maintaining stability in Syria and Iraq after the defeat of ISIS. www.mesop.de