U.S. President Donald Trump asked Saudi Arabia's government for US$4 billion to speed up their exit out of the Syrian war, according to the Washington Post.
Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Salman will visit the U.S. on Monday March 19 to hold talks with high level officials. He has a meeting scheduled Tuesday with Trump, and it will most likely include a discussion regarding financing “reconstruction” in a post-war Syria and U.S. presence in the war.
The US$4 billion Trump is asking for are intended to “stabilize” the Syrian northeastern region the U.S. controls along with allied militias after they leave.
The deal was reportedly reached by Trump after a December phone call with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, and may include military strategies to keep control of the region's rich natural resources such as oil.
At a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on March 14, General Joseph L. Votel, Commander of United States Central Command, admitted that Syria's official government and its allies Russia and Iran had won the war.
When asked if his mission wasn't to deal with the “Iranian-Assad-Russia problem” by Senator Lindsey Graham, Votel answered that they were currently not pursuing such objective, and that their main efforts were focused on defeating the Islamic State group.
“I don't know that that's our particular policy at this particular point. Our main focus remains on the defeat of ISIS.” said Votel using an acrynum for the extremist group.
But with most of the Islamic State positions already cleared out in Syria by U.S. military and its allies, especially the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that had been just ousted by Turkish military from Afrin, and Assad winning the war, the U.S. seems to have no excuse to remain in Syria.