US House votes down bill to withdraw troops from Syria

TEHRAN, Mar. 09 (MNA) – The House voted 103-321 on Wednesday against pulling US troops out of Syria, rejecting a war powers resolution to do so introduced by Rep. Matt Gaetz.

The Republican from Florida used expedited procedures laid out under the War Powers Act to force a floor vote on the bill, which would have required the Biden administration to withdraw the approximately 900 troops stationed in Syria within six months. Democrats from the Congressional Progressive Caucus joined libertarian and America First-aligned Republicans in rallying behind the Gaetz resolution but fell short of the votes needed to pass it amid opposition from leaders in both parties, Defense News reported. 

“Congress has never authorized the use of military force in Syria,” Gaetz said in a statement upon introducing the bill last month. “The United States is currently not in a war with or against Syria, so why are we conducting dangerous military operations there? President [Joe] Biden must remove all US armed forces from Syria.”

The Defense Department first deployed troops to Syria to fight ISIL in 2014. That conflict also saw the return of US forces to Iraq. But since the territorial defeat of ISIL, the US Defense Department has kept troops stationed in both Syria and Iraq.

Four presidents have since used the 2001 military authorization to justify at least 41 military operations in at least 19 countries across the globe.

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  made an unannounced visit to a US base in Syria on Saturday to assess a nearly eight-year-old occupying presence of the US troops in the war-ravaged country.

Syria’s foreign ministry on Sunday condemned the unannounced visit of the top US military officer to a US base in northeast Syria as “illegal” and a “flagrant violation” of the country’s sovereignty.

The legitimate Syrian government in Damascus led by President Bashar Assad considers the presence of the American and Turkish forces on Syrian soil as illegal and occupation and has called for their immediate withdrawal to exercise its sovereignty over all the Syrian territories. 


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