Al Jazeera: US Announces Syria Pullout

Syria’s civil war began in 2011 and soon attracted extremists and foreign powers including NATO members Turkey and the US as well as Russia and Iran who support the Assad regime in Syria. The US and Turkey have vehemently disagreed over the role of Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurdish fighters supported by the US and key to containing Islamic State terrorists. Turkey’s president regards the Kurdish fighters as a threat, signaling a plan to invade areas of northern Syria held by Kurdish troops. Soon afterward Donald Trump abruptly announced his plan to withdraw US troops, contradicting Pentagon assessments and suggesting his only goal was to eliminate ISIS. All this happened shortly after the US approved the sale of Patriot missiles to Turkey. US withdrawal of 2000 troops leaves its Kurdish allies in a precarious position, explains Andrew Wilks for Al Jazeera: “The YPG controls a swath of territory in northeast Syria from the eastern bank of the River Euphrates to the Iraqi border, including a more than 400km border with Turkey. It has an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 fighters in the region.” Trump’s announcement pleased presidents of Russia and Turkey, strengthens Iran and could compel the Kurdish troops to align with the Assad regime. – YaleGlobal

Al Jazeera: US Announces Syria Pullout

Trump's claim that ISIS has been defeated contradicts US experts' assessments, pleases Russia and Turkey, and shocks his Middle East allies
Andrew Wilks
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Read the article from Al Jazeera about the US presidents announcement on withdrawing troops from Syria.

Andrew Wilks is a freelance journalist based in Ankara, Turkey. He previously worked as the deputy editor of Anadolu news agency and for UK-based newspapers

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