Global Affairs

Trump's moves in the Middle East could spell disaster

From the Syrian civil war to the Israel-Palestine negotiations to the Saudi-Qatar stand-off, the decisions coming from the White House have dangerous consequences for an already conflict-ridden region.

LONDON • Mission accomplished. Or so thought United States President Donald Trump when he recently announced that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organisation was "close to 100 per cent defeated" and that, as a result, US forces are about to "get out" of Syria.

The announcement of such a precipitous American troop withdrawal from what is still the Middle East's most acute civil war flatly contradicted promises made by US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who vowed that his soldiers were "not just going to walk away" before a political settlement is reached between the various protagonists which have torn Syria apart over the past seven years.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2018, with the headline 'Trump's moves in the Mid-East could spell disaster'. Print Edition | Subscribe