Trump announces extended timeline for withdrawal of US personnel from Syria; Reports claim Netanyahu requested extension; Russia and Turkey to coordinate in Syria, as well as Iraq and Syria.
The United States will gradually withdraw from Syria over a four month period.
According to reports from Monday, President Trump gave the extended period to withdraw all US military personnel from Syria. The White House is expected to make the announcement on Tuesday.
The development follows reports that Prime Minister Netanyahu asked President Trump to extend the timeline for the withdrawal of US troops. Following President Trump’s announcement, Netanyahu stated “Trump’s decision to withdraw the American soldiers from Syria will not change our policy. We are standing steadfast on our red lines in Syria and everywhere else.”
Following Trump’s announcement, Russia and Turkey announced they would coordinate on ground operations in Syria and against remaining Islamic State factions. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced alongside his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu last week, “We paid special attention to new circumstances which appeared in connection with the announced US military pullout… Russia and Turkey will continue to coordinate their steps on the ground under new conditions with a view to finally rooting out terrorist threats in Syria.”
Meanwhile in Syria, President Bashar Assad authorized the Syrian Army to carry out strikes on ISIS factions in Iraq. The authorization follows a meeting between Syrian and Iraqi military and security officials over the weekend. Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi reported plans for cooperation in combatting the Islamic State amidst the US withdrawal, stating on Sunday “If any negative development takes place in Syria, it will affect us. We have a 600 kilometer border with Syria and Daesh [ISIS] is there… There are groups operating in Syria, and Iraq is the best way to deal with this.”
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