In an interview with the BBC, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said that the withdrawal of US troops from the Syrian Arab Republic would lead to the deterioration of the situation in the Mideast country.
“The US actions from my perspective is [sic] that it is going to further complicate the issue, rather [than] find any solutions to it, and further entrench not only the Iranians, but also the Russians and Bashar al-Assad. So from that perspective, of course, it is a very negative development”.
Prince Faisal further added that the resignation of US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, supposedly triggered by President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out the troops, was unlikely to help the situation.
“Obviously, he disagreed with the administration on Syria policy, so in that context his remaining would have been a more positive sign of commitment to that policy”.
Trump Announces Troop Pullout
Last month, Trump declared victory over Daesh* in Syria, subsequently announcing the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops currently deployed in the Mideast country. The president elaborated that Turkey had pledged to wipe out the remaining terrorists.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Ankara’s consent to protect the Kurdish militia was a condition for the US withdrawal, which has become a major stumbling block in relations between the two NATO allies.
In a recent tweet, POTUS wrote that it was time to stop “the endless wars” and bring US troops back home. Trump also threatened to “devastate” Turkey economically if Ankara attacked US-allied Kurds in Syria.
Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone….— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 January 2019
….Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria — natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 13 January 2019
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin also took to Twitter to respond to Trump’s warning:
Mr @realDonaldTrump Terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda.— Ibrahim Kalin (@ikalin1) 13 January 2019
There is no difference between DAESH, PKK, PYD and YPG. We will continue to fight against them all. https://t.co/Yyzgyp9RQ4
Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey.
Since 2014, the US-led coalition has conducted operations against Daesh in Syria without either a UN mandate, or Damascus’s authorisation. The Syrian government has consistently dismissed Washington’s military presence in the country as illegal.
*Daesh, also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.