US president Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops from Syria. This decision was conveyed via Twitter, as Trump published a message stating: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency”, and US Defense Department officials said that Trump had ordered that the withdrawal be completed in 30 days. This move sparked surprise and controversy among his own party, but also in the international community. Turkey and Russia welcomed the move, alleging that a withdrawal will create prospects for a political settlement in the civil war, and adding that the Syrian constitutional committee will have a “brighter future” once American troops are gone. Nevertheless, many fear that the US troop’s withdrawal would leave the Kurds vulnerable, especially on the eve of a possible Turkish offensive. Regarding EU’s responses, in an official statement, UK Foreign Office said: “Much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose. Even without territory, Daesh will remain a threat”. France’s European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said: “It’s true that the coalition has made significant progress in Syria, but this fight continues, and we will continue it”. Also, some countries like Israel fear what they considered may entail “ceding a strategically vital country to Russia and Iran”.
- The Euromed news are edited by the team of the Euro-Mediterranean Policies Department of the European Institute of the Mediterranean -