US announces appointment of new Syria policy chief

US announces appointment of new Syria policy chief
2 min read
22 September, 2021
Ethan Goldrich has been named by the Biden administration as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, with responsibility for Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon
Ethan Goldrich previously served as the US charge d’affaires in the UAE [Getty]

The administration of US President Joe Biden on Monday announced the appointment of a new Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. 

Ethan Goldrich will take up the role, replacing Aimee Cutrona, who will move to a yet unannounced post, according to Al-Monitor.

According to a statement released by the US State Department, Goldrich will have “responsibility for the Levant and Syria engagement.”

Prior to his recent appointment, Goldrich served as the US charge d’affaires in the United Arab Emirates, and as Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Goldrich will be responsible for overseeing the US response to a number of growing issues in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. 

The US currently has around 900 troops deployed in Syria's northeast, where they are supporting Kurdish-led forces instrumental in the fight against the Islamic State group.

In October 2019, the previous US administration of President Donald Trump announced their intention to withdraw American forces from Syria but reversed the decision following outrage from US lawmakers and the US's Kurdish allies in the region. 

President Joe Biden's administration has given no indication of any intention to withdraw from Syria. It has continually called on Syria to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2254 for a political settlement and to hold free and fair elections. 

As for Lebanon, Goldrich will be administering the US response to the ongoing economic collapse and political turmoil in the country.

He will also be responsible for improving relations between the US and its longtime ally Jordan.