Trump’s Arab Army could spark ‘hot war’ in Middle East

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Picture Credit: Video grab of Saudi Army unit

President Donald Trump’s option to removing U.S. troops from Syria is to create an Arab army that will police part of the war-torn country.

Saudi Arabia has officially responded to Trump’s proposal saying it is willing to send an “Arab army” to replace the US in Syria as part of a Washington-led effort to stabilise the war-ravaged nation.

However, the plan is not getting the response Trump expected.

On the other hand, fears are the ISIS could potentially establish a second caliphate if the U.S. were to pull out of Syria.

During a press conference, US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon warned of an apparent surge in terrorist attacks in Syria. These may not be related to the attacks carried out by the Syrian Kurds fighting Turkish forces in Syria.

“We have seen also not just reports, but also corroborated through our own intelligence gathering, that ISIS is starting to conduct more attacks on the west side of the Euphrates River outside of Abu Kamal against pro-regime forces.

 

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However, activists responded that the U.S. should leave Syria once the ISIS is gone.

“And then we’ve also seen – not corroborated by us, but in open source, the retaking of neighbourhoods in southern Damascus,” Dillon said.

The remains of ISIS in eastern Syria are currently concentrated mainly east of the Euphrates closer to the Syria-Iraq border.

But the group carries out limited operations far north in the strategic city of Deir ez-Zor.

The river serves as a deconfliction line between the US-led coalition and Russian forces.

The creation of an Arab force to fight ISIS in the area may escalate the tension between the Arab countries and Russia.

The Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad won the war against multiple opponents in various cities of Syria thanks to the assistance of the Russian military.

The Russian influence in Syria is not appreciated by the Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, while Turkey made its intentions clear towards Moscow by shooting down a Russian fighter jet.

Experts are also saying the Arab militaries would struggle in a campaign against ISIS.

“No Arab state has the military or institutional capacity needed for this sort of task,” Faysal Itani, a Middle East security expert at the Atlantic Council think tank reportedly said.

“Arab armies are bad at counterinsurgency, and even worse at war,” he added.