The order to withdraw American troops from Syria has been signed, the US military said Sunday, after President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart agreed to prevent a power vacuum in the wake of the controversial move.
The announcement that US troops would leave the civil war-racked country — where they have been deployed to assist in the multinational fight against the Daesh group — shocked global partners and American politicians alike. “The execute order for Syria has been signed,” a US military spokesperson told Media when asked about the withdrawal order, without providing further details. Turkey was a rare ally that lauded Trump´s momentous decision on Syria, a country where it will now have a freer rein to target US-allied Kurdish fighters who have played a major role in the war against IS but are deemed terrorists by Ankara.
Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday and “agreed to ensure coordination between their countries´ military, diplomatic and other officials to avoid a power vacuum which could result following any abuse of the withdrawal and transition phase in Syria,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement.
Late Sunday, Trump tweeted that Erdogan had assured him that any remaining Daesh fighters in Syria will be eliminated.
“President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey has very strongly informed me that he will eradicate whatever is left of ISIS in Syria,” Trump said in a Tweet around midnight Sunday, using another acronym for the jihadist group.
Repeating a pattern of admiring comments towards global strongmen, Trump added that Erdogan “is a man who can do it.”
The US president concluded: “Our troops are coming home!”
Hours earlier, Trump had tweeted that he and Erdogan “discussed (Daesh), our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area.”