Is US withdrawing from Syria or not? If yes, when? Confusion galore…
Washington, Jan 9: The US administration is perceived to have created a confusion over the announcement of the country's troops from the war-ravaged Syria, something President Donald Trump drastically announced last month, and a full diplomatic offensive has been launched to clear the air over the said move, CNN reported.
National Security Adviser (NSA) John Bolton, known to be an ultra-hawk, just returned from a trip of Israel and Turkey while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also known to be a hardliner, is on an eight-nation tour including Jordan, Egypt and the Gulf. The CNN reported that these visits are meant to clear the air over a video which was tweeted by Trump on December 19 referring to approximately 2,000 American troops stationed in Syria. "Our boys, our young women, our men-they're all coming back, and they're coming back now," Trump said. The president is of the opinion that the Islamic State has been defeated and there was no problem in recalling the troops.
It was learnt from a highly placed White House source that Trump's tweet came after a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he said the American forces would leave Syria and let Turkey finish off the IS there.
Trump's announcement created an initial repercussion but as time progressed, the timeline of the withdrawal increased from 30 days to 120 days to "no timeline". It is being said now that the withdrawal will take place at a "proper pace".
"Whenever and however US troops leave Syria, it's becoming ever clearer just how complicated the move will be. It doesn't just involve the US and Syria, but also all the other players in that messy, bloody conflict-Russia, Turkey, Israel, Iran, Jordan and Syria's Kurds," the CNN report added.
In Turkey, Bolton was hoping that the Erdogan administration will agree to refrain from taking action against the US-backed Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces who are Washington's main ally in the fight against the IS in Syria but Ankara gave no such assurances and was wondering over "hearing different voices from the (US) administration" after reaching a "deal with Trump".
Pompeo's visits to countries around and close to Syria are also expected to clear little air over the confusion over the US's withdrawal from Syria.