Some 2,000 US troops are officially in Syria, deployed initially for the ISIS War, but with Pentagon officials suggesting they’ll stay long after ISIS’ outright defeat. Though this is nominally said to be for stability reasons, the US military goal may in fact be the opposite.
Instead of keeping Syria from getting torn apart again, reports are now suggesting the Trump Administration is considering making their explicit military goal in Syria to “confront Iran.”
President Trump has long sought opportunities to get into fights with Iran, and at times US troops in Syria have seemingly forgotten they were fighting ISIS, and instead just gone after random Shi’ite militias allied to the Syrian government, claiming them to be in league with Iran.
Iran of course has some forces in Syria, also to fight ISIS. The primary difference, however, is that Syria’s government has actually welcomed the Iranian troops in, while demanding that the US troops leave, declaring them unwelcome. The US using Syrian soil for fights against Iran may further solidify the perception of them as a hostile power acting within Syria.