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    Turkey, Russia to Play Stronger Roles In Syria After US Troops Pullout - SNC

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Russia and Turkey will play a more vigorous role in a political settlement of the Syrian conflict after the US troops withdraw, a member of the Syrian Negotiation Commission and a member of the Political Committee of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Hadi al-Bahra told Sputnik Wednesday.

    "As for the stabilization, reconstruction and refugees return, all of these cannot be achieved in practical and non-reversible way, without reuniting the Syrians through a political settlement that leads to the full implementation of the UNSC resolution 2254," al-Bahra said. "Now Turkey and Russia have to play much more active role to achieve that."

    Meanwhile, Coordinating the US troops pullout from Syria with Ankara will empower Turkey to have a stronger role within the Astana group, Hadi al-Bahra told Sputnik.

    "Empowering the Turkish role in this withdrawal operation and having full coordination with the US will empower Turkey to play a stronger role with in the Astana group, and in pushing for a political solution," Hadi al-Bahra said. "At the end, Turkey has no ambitions in Syria and does not aspire to remain there after a political solution leading to the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 has been reached."

    Earlier in the day, the White House announced the removal of all service members currently on the ground in Syria, the Pentagon said they have already started the process of returning US troops home. All State Department staff will evacuate from Syria within 24 hours, according to media reports.

    White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the United States is moving on to the next phase in its campaign in Syria against the Daesh terror group, and will continue to work with its allies to fight the radical group.

    Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana White confirmed that the pullout of US forces from Syria had begun, and stressed that the US-led coalition’s fight against Daesh is not over.

    READ MORE: Pentagon Says Mission not Over as Trump Wants to Bring Troops Back From Syria

    "For us we consider that any improvements in the relationship and understandings between Turkey and the US will serve Syria and our cause better, we should never forget that Turkey is our neighbor and we share the same concerns regarding the integrity and unity of Syria, and the same security concerns," Hadi al-Bahra said. "Also Turkey is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees in the world more than three and half million, also it invested heavily in the Northern part of Syria to stabilize it."

    Moreover, The United States made the decision to pull out its forces from Syria in full coordination with Turkey in order to avoid unintended clashes, Hadi al-Bahra stressed.

    "After Turkey patiently waited for a long time for the United States to deliver on the agreement for Manbij, at last it found itself due to its own national security concerns in a position that it has to act military to secure its borders, and it did inform the United States about its planned operations," al-Bahra said. "In order not to complicate the situation and risk unintended clashes, the United States has decided to pull its troops out in full coordination with Turkey."

    The US military presence, he added, was always limited and aligned with Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which created conflicts of interest with Turkey, Washington’s main NATO ally. US troops were solely focused on countering the Daesh terrorist group  and not Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, al-Bahra said.

    "To set the record straight, the American presence in that area was only in line with its fight against Daesh and in support of its local ground proxy the PYD, it never was against the Assad regime nor in support of our quest for democracy," he said.

    However, the US forces pullout from Syria will complicate the ongoing fight against the Daesh and will add more pressure on Turkey and Russia to defeat them, Hadi al-Bahra pointed out.

    "This move will complicate the fight against ISIS [Daesh], as no one can claim that this fight is over, still few pockets exist, and the area not stabilized to make sure that ISIS [Daesh] and other terrorist organizations will not make a comeback," Hadi al-Bahra said. "This adds more pressure on Turkey and Russia to finish what the US did not."

    READ MORE: US Pulling Out its Troops From Syria is 'Stab in the Back' — Kurdish Coalition

    Syria has been in a state of conflict since 2011, with numerous opposition groups and terrorist organizations fighting the Syrian Arab Army in an attempt to topple the government of Bashar Assad. Russia, along with Turkey and Iran, is one of the guarantor states of the Syrian ceasefire.

    The US-led coalition of more than 70 countries is conducting military operations against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. The coalition's operations in Iraq are conducted in cooperation with the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.

    Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

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    Tags:
    United States, pullout, Daesh, political settlement, role, coordination, troops, National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC), Hadi al-Bahra, Turkey, Syria, Russia
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