Is Trump a big threat to Syria
Withdrawal from Syria : What the rest of the world thinks about Trump going it alone
The withdrawal of troops from Syria announced by US President Donald Trump has sparked opposition and great concern among international allies and in Washington. Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was surprised and sharply criticized the decision. "There is a risk that the consequences of this decision will damage the fight against IS and jeopardize the successes achieved," Maas said on Thursday in Berlin. "The IS has been pushed back, but the threat is not over yet." Trump announced on Wednesday that the US troops would withdraw completely on the grounds that the fight against the terrorist militia had been won. “We have recaptured the country. And now it is time for our soldiers to return home, ”he said on Twitter.
The consequences of the US withdrawal for the anti-IS coalition in Iraq and Syria are unclear. Germany is participating in the mission with "Tornado" reconnaissance aircraft and a tanker. In addition, German soldiers in Iraq are training the armed forces there.
Great Britain and France also contradicted the US President's assessment. The UK Foreign Office said the international coalition against IS had made great strides, "but much remains to be done". The jihadist militia remains a threat even without territory. According to information from the New York Times newspaper, Great Britain was not informed in advance. The French Defense Minister Florence Parly tweeted that ISIS was "not erased from the map". He must be "finally defeated militarily". France remains militarily engaged in Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed the announced withdrawal. At his annual major press conference in Moscow, he spoke of a "correct" decision. He also shares Trump's assessment that ISIS has largely been defeated in Syria, Putin said. However, he still sees no signs of the withdrawal of US troops. Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders had said that the withdrawal of the 2,000 soldiers had already been initiated.
Criticism in Washington
In Washington, Trump's announcement met with bipartisan criticism. By withdrawing from Syria, Trump is damaging his declared goal of curbing Iran's influence in the region, said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is actually considered a Trump supporter. “The withdrawal thwarts these efforts and endangers our allies, the Kurds.” The Republican Senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, spoke of a hasty withdrawal and a terrible mistake that will haunt the country for years to come. The decision was made against the advice of the military and will have serious consequences for the United States. According to information from the broadcaster CNN, Trump has not included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or Secretary of Defense James Mattis in advance. The Democratic Senator Jack Reed accused Trump of "betraying" the Kurds. This is "further evidence" of the President's "inability" to "lead on the world stage".
Just last week, Trump's anti-IS representative, Brett McGurk, had assured that the troops would stay in Syria for a while, as "there are still many hidden cells" and "no one will be so naive as to believe that they will simply disappear". Nobody claims that the mission has been completed.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, so far the USA's most important partner in the fight against the IS militia in northern and eastern Syria, warned of the consequences for the fight against IS. "It will have negative effects on the anti-terrorist mission," declared the Kurdish-Arab alliance. A US withdrawal will give the jihadists the opportunity to regroup and launch a counterattack. (with AFP / dpa)
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