Trump ‘persuaded not to pull out immediately’ from Syria war

DMASCUS: US officials say President Trump has been persuaded not to pull the military out of Syria immediately, despite his declaration last week that the US would “be coming out of Syria very soon”.
Advisers reportedly convinced him that it could risk a resurgence by the Islamic State (IS) group. The White House said on Wednesday the US military mission in Syria was coming to a “rapid end”.
But it has not announced a timetable for a full troop withdrawal.
A statement said IS was almost completely destroyed, and that the US would consult its allies regarding future plans.
A senior administration official told NBC News that the president had agreed at a meeting on Tuesday to keep troops in Syria for an undetermined period, but “wasn’t thrilled about it, to say the least”.
The US has about 2,000 personnel on the ground in eastern Syria supporting an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
With the help of US-led coalition air strikes, SDF fighters have captured tens of thousands of square kilometres of territory from IS over the past three years.
Separately on Wednesday, Turkey, Iran and Russia pledged to speed up efforts to bring stability to Syria after a meeting between leaders in the Turkish capital Ankara.
All three countries are significant players in the conflict, albeit on different sides: Iran and Russia support Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has backed rebels opposing the regime.
But the three countries’ leaders are united in their contempt for Washington and their belief that they now hold the cards in Syria, says BBC Turkey correspondent Mark Lowen.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told BBC Arabic that the US made the “wrong decision” to get involved in Syria in the first place and had created divisions and “worked on fault lines between various ethnicities”.

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