US troops to leave Syria but YPG support to continue – Trump

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While Washington considers YPG a strong ally in the fight against Daesh, Turkey considers it the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist organisation.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting on day 12 of the partial US government shutdown at the White House in Washington, US, January 2, 2019.
US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting on day 12 of the partial US government shutdown at the White House in Washington, US, January 2, 2019. (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States would get out of Syria “over a period of time” and wants to protect the US-backed YPG/PKK militants in the country as Washington draws down troops.

Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House he never gave a four-month timetable for the withdrawal, which he announced last month.

TRT World‘s Yusuf Erim has more.

While Washington considers the YPG an ally in the fight against Daesh, the YPG is the Syrian wing of the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the EU, the US and Turkey.

During a Cabinet meeting at the White House in front of reporters, Trump said he had never discussed a reported four-month timetable for the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops stationed in Syria amid a battle against Daesh.

In recent days, Trump appeared to back off from any hasty pullout and stressed that the operation would be slow. “We’re slowly sending our troops back home to be with their families, while at the same time fighting Isis [Daesh] remnants,” he said on Twitter on Monday.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he came out of a lunch with Trump feeling reassured about the Syria policy.

US commanders planning the US withdrawal are recommending that YPG terror group be allowed to keep US-supplied weapons, according to US officials.

Source: Reuters