Washington, December 24: United States President Donald Trump has justified the withdrawal of troops from war-torn Syria, claiming that the dreaded terrorist outfit Islamic State (ISIS) has been largely defeated, and whatever their residual is -- will be eradicated by his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Trump, in a late night tweet on Sunday, said he dialled Erdogan and had a productive session of talks. The US President claimed that Erdogan informed him that he will "eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria". Emmanuel Macron Criticises Donald Trump’s Decision of Withdrawing Troops From Syria.
Trump further added that Erdogan is best poised to take on the remainder of the ISIS, due to the geographical position of Turkey.
President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria....and he is a man who can do it plus, Turkey is right “next door.” Our troops are coming home!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 24, 2018
Trump shocked US allies on Friday when he announced plans to pull the 2,000 US troops out of Syria, where they have been helping coordinate a multinational fight against IS. But the move was lauded by Turkey.
The decision followed an earlier Trump phone call with Erdogan, who has been pressing for a US withdrawal.
An American pullout would allow Turkish troops to move against the hardened Kurdish fighters in Syria deemed terrorists by the Ankara regime -- but who have strongly supported US efforts there.
The President's decision also led to the resignation of Pentagon chief James Mattis. The Defence Secretary marked his dissent to Trump's order as it is bound to isolate Washington's key ally in the region - the Kurdish YPG forces.
A US withdrawal, said Mutlu Civiroglu, a Kurdish affairs analyst, "will open way for Turkey to start its operations against the Kurds, and a bloody war will begin".
Apart from Mattis, top US envoy Brett McGurk, who was heading the anti-ISIS coalition, also submitted his resignation. Playing down his ouster, Trump said it would have minimal impact as McGurk's tenure was scheduled to end in February.