16:12 GMT25 February 2020
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    Damascus and Kurdish forces have reportedly stepped up their efforts to strike a longstanding political settlement following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

    Government forces will liberate the entirety of Syria even if Trump reneges on his announced pullout, a source in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) told Sputnik news editor Suliman Mulhem on Friday.

    Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the MFA source insisted that President Bashar al-Assad has no intention of allowing Syrian territory to remain out of government hands in the long term, adding that the Syrian Army and its allies are “ready to forcefully recover every inch” of the war-torn country.

    READ MORE: Turkey to Launch Operation East of Euphrates 'at Right Time' — Defence Minister

    “American troops aren’t welcome here, and although their presence may complicate matters for us, we are ready to forcefully recover every inch of Syria, even if Trump keeps US soldiers on our soil. There is no other option from our perspective,” the source asserted.

    The Syrian army servicemen, broke the three-year siege of Deir ez-Zor, in the area of the 137th mechanized brigade in Syria
    © Photo : Press Service of the President of Syria
    Syrian government delegates have been engaging in talks with Kurdish leaders over the course of the multi-year war, and Washington’s pullout could encourage the Kurds to finally agree to a compromise with Damascus, as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be vulnerable to a Turkish assault in northern Syria following a US withdrawal. 

    However, with many of Trump’s hawkish security and defence advisers opposed to the move, the US president could renege on his promise to end America’s military presence in Syria, as he abruptly did last year.  

    Regardless, Damascus and the Kurds are seemingly edging closer towards a deal, with Syrian Army troops arriving in Manbij – a city Ankara has openly threatened to target unless Kurdish forces withdraw – just days after Trump pledged to withdraw the US' 2,000-strong military contingent from Syria. 

    READ MORE: China Willing to Assist Syrian Army in Idlib Offensive – Ambassador to Syria

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    liberation, war, Syria crisis, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Syrian Army, US Army, Bashar al-Assad, Donald Trump, Manbij, Turkey, Syria, United States, Damascus
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