Trump emphasizes Ankara's role in defeating Daesh

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ANKARA
Published 27.12.2018 21:58
Updated 28.12.2018 08:00

Washington reiterated its confidence that Turkey will defeat Daesh in Syria, following President Donald Trump's announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from the war-torn country.

"I will tell you that I've had some very good talks with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan who wants to knock them out also and he'll do it. And others will do it too. Because we are in their region. They should be sharing the burden of costs and they're not," he told reporters on Wednesday after a briefing with military and diplomatic leaders on the ground in an unannounced trip to Iraq.

Trump strongly defended his decision to withdraw from Syria, adding he had no plans to pull forces out of Iraq, which he said the U.S. could use as a staging ground to someday re-enter Syria.

Further mentioning the decision to pull out from the war-torn country, Trump said he was asked for additional time to withdraw from Syria but rejected the request as Daesh is "very nearly defeated."

Reiterating that whatever is left of Daesh will be eliminated by Turkey, Trump said the regional actors should banish the terrorist organization from Syria.

"The United States cannot continue to be the policeman of the world," Trump said. "It's not fair when the burden is all on us, the United States."

Last week, Washington announced it will be withdrawing all of its troops from Syria, following a conversation between Erdoğan and Trump over an imminent Turkish cross-border operation to eliminate PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) from northern Syria.

After the U.S. decided to withdraw its troops from Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is predominantly led by the YPG, is in search of alliances since it was "disappointed" by the decision.

Even though Ankara has long told Washington that the YPG is no different from the PKK, on account of eliminating Daesh, the U.S. has continued to deliver weapons and military equipment to the terrorist organizations.

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