Since 2011 the United States has wanted to deploy ground troops to Syria to secure its position there and vanquish the sovereign government of President Bashar al-Assad. Now it is encouraging Saudi Arabia to deploy ground troops to Syria to accomplish its mission, an American political analyst says.

Dennis Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Friday, after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter welcomed Saudi Arabia’s offer of troop deployment to Syria. On Thursday, Carter welcomed the Saudi offer to participate in any ground operations in Syria, launched by a US-led coalition claiming to be fighting against Daesh terrorists in the Middle East.

US seeks to replace Assad with a puppet

“It is becoming clearer by the day that the superpower contention in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is becoming more and more acute. Since the emergence of ISIL a couple of years ago, armed, trained and funded by the US through its proxies, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel, the US has banked on Takfiri terrorists to serve as stormtroopers in its campaign to oust Syrian President Bashir al-Assad and replace him with a compliant US puppet,” Professor Etler said.

“The so far successful military intervention by Russia, at the request of the Syrian government, into the ongoing civil war, has however turned the tide of battle in favor of the Syrian Arab Army and thrown a wild-card into the conflict that the US never anticipated,” he added.

ISIL militants on the ropes in Syria

Professor Etler said that with ISIL and other armed militants “on the ropes and Syrian forces advancing on rebel held positions in Aleppo, the US and its allies are desperate to salvage their position.”

“As a result the US dropped certain conditions that had stymied the initiation of peace talks between the Syrian government and supposed unarmed opposition forces, in the hope that the US could achieve at the negotiation table what could not be achieved on the battlefield,” he stated.

“The Syrian armed forces with Russian air support will however not surrender the initiative and allow the insurgents to reestablish their positions.The negotiation ploy thus seems to be a non-starter, at least from the US perspective,” he noted.

What complicated US ‘mission’ in Syria

Professor Etler said “the US has from the start of the conflict in Syria wanted to introduce ground forces to secure its position and vanquish the independent and sovereign Syrian government. This has been complicated by a number of factors. The most important has been war weariness on the part of the US people which resulted in promises of US military withdrawal from both Afghanistan and Iraq.”

“The second factor has been the successful negotiations on lifting economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran’s willingness to compromise and reach an agreement on its nuclear program forced the US to concede defeat and end its economic isolation of the Islamic Republic. Subsequent Russian and Chinese economic and political support for Iran has threatened to further isolate the US and its allies in the region,” he added.

“Faced with the dilemma of seeing its influence in Middle East and North Africa begin to wane the US is resorting to its tried and true method of asserting control over a region that has begun to waiver, war. In order to do so however the US has to find a new rationale to intervene that will appease its critics at home and abroad. This is where US support for ISIL and other terrorist groups comes into play,” the analyst noted.

Why US wants ground forces

“By unleashing ISIL in Syria and Iraq, and facilitating its spread into Libya and elsewhere, the US established an excuse to re-engage in ground combat operations and enlist its allies in the fight as well. The hope is that the introduction of ground forces in both Syria and Libya will allow the US and its proxies to reassert their power and influence in order to consolidate their geo-political control of the region,” Professor Etler said.

“Both Syria and Libya were off limits to direct US control, until they were destabilized and turned into failed states by US initiated and supported attempts at regime change, led in large measure by terrorist groups surreptitiously supported by Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf States, Turkey and Israel,” he stated.

“The US strategy of supporting terrorist networks in MENA now seems to be paying dividends. It has allowed US Defense Secretary Ash Carter to welcome a Saudi offer to participate in ground operations in Syriaby a US-led coalition, and Carter’s openness to the introduction of US ground forces in Libya. Both developments are in keeping with the US strategy of promoting terrorism and endless war in the Middle East and North Africa to keep its adversaries at bay and maintain its hegemony over the region,” the academic concluded.

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