US withdrawal affects world stability: Syrian Democratic Forces

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Damascus, Dec 20 (IANS) A Kurdish-led alliance in Syria on Thursday said that US President Donald Trump’s surprise decision to withdraw American troops would allow the Islamic State (IS) group to recover.

A statement from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)– an alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters — warned of a military vacuum that would leave the alliance trapped between “hostile parties”, the BBC reported.

Trump said on Wednesday that his government considered its work in Syria is complete as the IS has lost nearly all the territory it had occupied in that Arab nation in 2014. However, major allies and certain US politicians disputed the claim.

A US partnership with the SDF was credited with playing a major role in the virtual elimination of the terror group after it overran large swathes of Syria four years ago.

The White House announced that the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from the Middle Eastern nation had begun, hours after Trump proclaimed the defeat over IS.

But the SDF said the fight against terror had not come to an end.

“The decision of the White House to withdraw from north and east Syria will negatively affect the campaign against terrorism and will give its supporters political, field and military momentum to revive again and carry out a counter-terrorism campaign in the region,” it said in a statement.

“The battle of fighting terrorism is not over yet and it (terrorism) is not fully defeated, but it is at a crucial stage that demands cooperation from all parties and a greater support from the international coalition to sustain the battle,” the SDF added.

It also said that the US decision would have serious repercussions that would destabilize the world.

The SDF launched a campaign last September with the intention of seizing the last strongholds of the terror organization around the Euphrates River, near the Iraqi border.

Turkey, meanwhile, said it was poised to launch a military operation against the Kurdish YPG militia — the main fighting force in the SDF — which it regards as a terrorist group.

The US support for the group has strained relations between Washington and Ankara.

–IANS

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