Mon May 8, 2017 9:47PM
US Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford are seen on West Executive Drive in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House on April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by AFP)
US Defense Secretary James Mattis (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford are seen on West Executive Drive in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House on April 26, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
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The United States must end its “covert and overt” involvement in war on Syria, and stop providing “any kind” of support for Takfiri terrorists, like Daesh and al-Qaeda, if it truly aims to “bring this one to an end,” as US Defense Secretary James Mattis claimed, says a political analyst.

Former US Senate candidate Mark Dankof made the comment in an interview with Press TV on Monday, while discussing remarks by General Mattis in regard to four de-escalation zones, recently negotiated by Russia, Turkey and Iran to reduce violence in Syria.

A deal to set up de-escalation zones was signed by Turkey, Iran and Russia, during the fourth round of the Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana on Thursday and took effect at the stroke of midnight local time on Saturday (2100 GMT on Friday).

The US will “look at the proposal and see if it can work,” the Pentagon chief told reporters as he traveled to Copenhagen for talks with US allies, toning down a previous criticism of the deal by the US State Department.

“General Mattis seems not to notice that the United States’ covert and overt involvement in Syria is a major reason for all of this violence,” Dankof said.

Since crisis began in Syria in 2011, the US has been implicated in providing direct and indirect support for terrorists, wreaking havoc in Syria and later in its Muslim neighbor, Iraq.

“The fact of the matter is the UN Security Council has unauthorized anything that the United States is doing there; there’s no congressional declaration of war… and yet we’re there,” said the San Antonio-based analyst.

Dankof further asserted that the US “needs to completely withdraw” from Syria and “insure that there’s no covert support of any kind” for Takfiri groups such as ISIL (Daesh) and their likes, which were “imported by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey into that country” to destabilize the government.

Referencing a 2007 statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the former Trump supporter noted that “respect for international law” as well as the “sovereignty of individual countries” should be revived.