The US administration is designing a new strategy of actions in Syria that would envisage the possibility of imposing sanctions on Russian and Iranian companies engaged in the reconstruction of Syria after the civil war, the NBC News broadcaster reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation.
The strategy would not provide for direct clashes with the forces controlled by the Iranian government, as the US military has a right to attack the Iranian troops only in case of self-defense, the NBC News broadcaster reported on Tuesday.
Instead, the strategy reportedly focuses on political and diplomatic efforts toward forcing Iranian armed forces out of Syria, namely, via putting financial pressure on them.
Three people with knowledge of the plan told NBC News that the United States was set to hinder Syria’s reconstruction by withdrawing its aid from the areas where the Russian and the Iranian forces are present, and also introducing sanctions against the Russian and the Iranian companies engaged in the reconstruction.
The United States is seeking Iranian forces withdrawal from Syria, insisting that their presence in the country reduces the possibility of achieving a political settlement to the crisis and hinders the struggle against the Daesh* terror group. In late September, James Jeffrey, the US State Department’s special representative for Syria engagement, pledged that the United States would maintain its presence in the country to defeat Daesh, expelling the Iranian forces and achieving a peaceful settlement.
While Russia and Iran, along with Turkey, are the guarantors of the ceasefire in Syria, they are also assisting in the reconstruction of the country’s cities and infrastructure, largely destroyed in over seven years of clashes between the Syrian government, opposition and militant groups.