Washington, Dec. 24 (Lusa) – The United States on Sunday signed an order for the withdrawal of US troops in Syria, a process that US President Donald Trump wants to be “slow and highly coordinated” with Turkey , advanced the Pentagon.
“The decree for Syria was signed,” a Pentagon spokesman said, without giving further details.
Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he would order the withdrawal of about two thousand detainees deployed in Syria, fighting alongside the Arab-Kurdish coalition, the Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS), against the extremist Islamist group.
The president, a long-time opponent of the US presence in a conflict he considers costly, said US troops were no longer needed because he considered the Islamic state “largely defeated.”
However, the withdrawal will leave the Kurdish militia of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) without military support, as Turkey threatens to attack them, considering Kurdish fighters as terrorists.
The decision was criticized by numerous experts who point out that the Islamic extremist group continues to control a number of villages along the Euphrates River in eastern Syria where they have been resisting successive attacks by the SDS for weeks.
Germany, France and the United Kingdom, allies of the United States, had already expressed their concern about the announcement of the withdrawal.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned.
Mattis, perhaps the most respected member of the Trump administration on foreign policy matters, stepped out of office late in February after two tumultuous years in which he sought to moderate and contain the President’s constant policy changes.