The US military has announced that the order to pull the American forces out of Syria has been signed, after the US and Turkish presidents agreed on subsequent measures.
President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced on Wednesday that the US would be pulling all its 2,000 forces out of Syria. He also claimed victory over the Daesh Takfiri terror outfit in the war-torn state.
“The execute order for Syria has been signed,” a US military spokesperson told AFP when asked about the pullout order, without elaborating.
The news came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had spoken with Trump by phone on Sunday and “agreed to ensure coordination between their countries’ military, diplomatic and other officials.”
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that he and Erdogan had “discussed (Daesh), our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area.”
Ankara welcomed Washington’s decision to withdraw from Syria. Observers say it appears that the US has chosen to strengthen its alliance with Turkey at the expense of its Kurdish allies in Syria.
Washington has long been supporting the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, an anti-Damascus coalition of Kurdish militants, as its most effective partner in Syria.
Ankara, however, views the SDF as a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron rebuked Trump over his decision to withdraw troops from Syria, saying “an ally must be reliable.”
France, a leading member of the US-led coalition, has said it would keep troops in Syria. France’s pronouncement of support came even as the SDF said it would stop its alleged fight against Daesh terrorists.