ANKARA, Turkey – The United States has decided to withdraw its troops from Syria thanks to Turkey, the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that Ankara is ready to launch an operation in the town of Manbij in Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) if the US does not withdraw them there.
He later said he had decided to postpone the start of the military operation in Syria after a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump on December 14 and in which Trump after made the decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.
“The main factor in the United States’ decision to withdraw troops from Syria was Turkey. They withdraw their military thanks to the decisions we have taken,” said the Turkish politician quoted by the agency Anadolu.
Trump announced last week victory over the Daesh [ISIS] terrorist group, saying that this was the only reason for the presence of the US military in the country.
Later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders reported that the United States has begun withdrawing its troops from Syria, but also that the victory over Daesh does not mean the end of the coalition.
Late on Sunday, Trump said he had a “long and productive” telephone conversation with Erdogan, during which they discussed their “mutual involvement” in Syria and the planned withdrawal of US troops from Syria. According to Erdogan, the two presidents pledged to “expand coordination” in Syria.
The US-led coalition has been active since 2014 in Iraq and Syria with the alleged goal of defeating ISIS terrorists. However, the actions of the coalition in Syria are carried out without authorization from the country’s authorities or the UN Security Council. Damascus urged the UN to act and end the illegal presence of the coalition in the country.