Ankara: President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned that US’ decision to pull out troops from Syria should be carried out with great precision and only with the “right partners”, Al Jazeera reported.
In an Op-ed article to the New York Times, the Turkish President praised the decision undertaken by United States President Donald Trump to withdraw troops from Syria and expressed Turkey’s commitment towards fighting the Islamic State (ISIS).
“President Trump made the right call to withdraw from Syria. The United States withdrawal, however, must be planned carefully and performed in cooperation with the right partners to protect the interests of the United States, the international community and the Syrian people. Turkey, which has NATO’s second largest standing army, is the only country with the power and commitment to perform that task,” the Turkish President said.
“In 2016, Turkey became the first country to deploy ground combat troops to fight the so-called Islamic State in Syria. Our military incursion severed the group’s access to NATO’s borders and impeded their ability to carry out terror attacks in Turkey and Europe,” Erdogan added.
On December 19, the US President declared that ISIS has been defeated in Syria and announced for a sudden withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from the country.
However, White House officials informed that troop withdrawal will not happen quickly.
“The Failing New York Times has knowingly written a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria. No different from my original statements, we will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!….. ,” the US President tweeted on Monday.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, who travelled to Israel to reassure the US ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there was no stipulated time for the pullout of American forces in Syria, but insisted that it was not an “unlimited commitment,” Al Jazeera reported.
United States troops will be pulled out of Syria only after defeating the Islamic States (ISIS) and ensuring that the Kurds are safe, he added.