13:42 GMT24 January 2021
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    GENOA (Sputnik) - The US is likely to retain control over the Kurdish-populated areas in northeastern Syria by keeping its troops in neighbouring Iraqi Kurdistan and reserving the right to intervene if needed, Badran Jiakurd, an adviser to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES), a de facto autonomous region, told Sputnik.

    “The US administration seems to have understood the repercussions of a full withdrawal on the region. On this basis, we believe that the withdrawal will take a long time, and there could be a presence of the American military in the Iraqi Kurdistan near the border with northern Syria. This US military presence could be strategic to allow the US air force to intervene when necessary, so that NES would remain under the US control. In our judgment, we think that there is a plan in this direction,” Jiakurd said.

    According to the official, after the full victory over the last pocket of the Daesh in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor is finally announced, “the US strategy, goals, and areas of military deployment in the region would be clearer.”

    READ MORE: EU States at Odds Over US Call to Take Back Jihadists From Syria

    He noted that Kurds did not support the troop withdrawal because such a sudden move would create a power vacuum and lead to terrorists flocking to the area.

    “A sudden and unplanned US withdrawal from the North and East Syria (NES) would create a vacuum, which would encourage many parties to invade our areas, such as Turkey and its affiliated terrorist groups. This would give the chance to the terrorist groups to revive and reorganize themselves,” Jiakurd stressed.

    Since the United States announced its intent to withdraw forces from Syria, there have been concerns among the Kurds, the main force fighting the Daesh* in Syria as part of the US-led coalition, that Washington would stop protecting its allies and leave them at mercy of Turkey, which has long been striving to launch an attack on Kurdish forces.

    In December, US President Donald Trump declared victory over the Daesh terrorist group and said he would withdraw some 2,000 US troops currently deployed in the Middle Eastern country.

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


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