US to pull forces out of Syria by end of April

Washington is preparing to withdraw big part of its 2,000 troops by mid-March with full withdrawal by April's end

Photo: EPA

The US military is reportedly preparing to withdraw all of its forces from Syria by the end of April, the WSJ has announced, citing former and current US officials. Unless the Trump administration changed course, the military plans to pull a significant portion of its 2,000 troops out by mid-March, with a full withdrawal coming by the end of April. However, a key concern for the US's Kurdish partners has yet to be addressed: Striking a deal to safeguard Kurdish allies from Turkish forces after the US leaves Syria. 

Even though Washington is currently attempting to negotiate with Turkey a proposal that would prevent conflict between Kurdish forces and Ankara, little progress has been made so far. Specifically since Turkey considers many of the Kurdish forces in Syria terrorists.

“The bottom line is: Decisions have to be made,” a US official told the WSJ. “At some point, we make political progress, or they’re going to have to tell the military to slow down, or we’re going to proceed without a political process.”

As Europost reminds, two months ago US President Donald Trump has ordered staff to execute the "full" and "rapid" withdrawal of all the American troops from Syria, declaring that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group had been defeated there. This brought a sudden end to a military campaign that largely vanquished the Islamic State, yet ceding a strategically vital country to Russia, Turkey and Iran.

In overruling his own generals, civilian advisers and Washington alllies, Trump fulfilled his frequently expressed desire to bring home American forces from a messy foreign entanglement. But his apparently impulsive decision plunges the administration’s Middle East strategy into disarray, rattling allies like Britain and Israel and forsaking Syria’s ethnic Kurds, who have been faithful partners in fighting the Islamic State.

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