Commander of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition anticipates a lengthy occupation of Syria
The three-star US general in command of American forces in Syria and Iraq says the US will leaves Syria as soon as ISIS is defeated, but not really. Actually, they will stick around, because after the ISIS state is defeated there will still be ISIS guerrillas to deal with:
Gen. Townsend promoted a young officer to first lieutenant on Wednesday -- and he acknowledged to CBS News that U.S. troops won't be leaving Syria any time soon.
"I think U.S. troops will start leaving Syria when ISIS is defeated," Townsend said.
But will ISIS turn into an insurgency when they've lost all their territory?
"I think that's the next stage of ISIS," Townsend said.
"We call that ISIS 2.0 -- an insurgency, rural. So I think we'll still be here dealing with that problem set for a while."
But will Americans only fight ISIS guerrillas? What about any "Assadist" or Baathist, or any kind of pro-government/pro-Syrian guerrillas? We can't imagine that those will be given a pass if they emerge. Knowing the US they will be demonized and hounded—for defying a foreign military in their own country.
It looks like the US may be in for another occupation of another Middle Eastern Arab country against native guerrillas. And it looks like Syrians may be in for a lengthy US occupation of the eastern half of their country.