18:05 GMT +322 March 2019
Listen Live
    Two US soldiers keep an eye on the demarcation line during a security patrol outside Manbij, Syria, 26 June, 2018

    'US Doesn’t Have Any Strategy' on Its Troop Pullout From Syria, Turkish FM Says

    © Photo: U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Timothy R. Koster
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    332

    In December 2018, President Donald Trump announced the pullout of about 2,000 US troops from Syria, referring to what he described as the defeat of the Daesh* terrorist group in the Arab Republic. Last week, however, Trump reportedly agreed to keep roughly 400 US servicemen in Syria.

    In an interview with CNN Turk on Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that “it is becoming clear that the United States does not have any strategy for the withdrawal of its troops from Syria”.

    He added that Ankara and Washington continue the dialogue on how the sides should “coordinate their actions during the withdrawal process”.  According to Cavusoglu, Turkey even tried to "help them in this matter."

    READ MORE: US Increasing Military Presence in Syria Despite Withdrawal Plans — Reports

    The remarks came after Cavusoglu told Sputnik on Monday that Turkey continues to coordinate with Russia, the United States and Iran the details of the creation of a prospective safe zone on the border with Syria.

    "We're working on it. We haven't decided yet on its size. We're working with Russia, with the US, and with Astana partners. Our technical teams met several times," he said.

    The statement followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's announcement in mid-January that US President Donald Trump proposed creating a 30-kilometre buffer zone in Syria.

    READ MORE: ‘Sustained Attacks’ on Troops in Syria May Accelerate US Pullout — Activist

    Erdogan later said that he had decided to postpone the start of a military operation in Syria after a phone conversation with Trump on 14 December, during which the US president also revealed his plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

    Earlier, Erdogan announced that Ankara was ready to launch a military operation against Kurdish fighters on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River as well as in Syria's Manbij if the United States did not remove the Kurdish militia from there.

    Last week, Reuters cited an unnamed US administration official as saying that Washington plans to keep around 200 troops at the al-Tanf base and around 200 more soldiers in north-eastern Syria, which would be a part of a larger contingent, including the US' European allies, numbering around 800-1,500 soldiers.

    READ MORE: Pompeo: US-Led Coalition ‘Hours Away’ From Taking Last Daesh Stronghold in Syria

    The comment came after President Trump said that he is not reversing course on US troop withdrawal from Syria, but that the Pentagon can keep a small force in the Arab country along with others.

    Trump announced the US troops withdrawal from Syria on 19 December, promising to bring around 2,000 American soldiers home and pointing to what he dubbed the defeat of the Daesh terrorist group in the Arab Republic.


    *Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic Stat), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a spate of other countries

    Related:

    US Should Be Careful in Making Clear What Its Purpose in Syria Is - Scholar
    Dunford Says Confident Allies Can Maintain Campaign in Syria After US Exits
    Trump Says US Can Leave Small Force in Syria Amid Troops Pullout
    US to Leave Around 200 Peacekeepers in Syria After Pullout, White House Says
    Tags:
    safe zone, creation, strategy, withdrawal, troops, border, Daesh, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Donald Trump, Syria, United States
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik