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Turkey welcomes US’ decision to withdraw army from Syria

Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that the troops withdrawal is an important step for a political settlement in Syria, which should currently be in focus

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. The Republic of Turkey welcomes the US’ decision to withdraw its army from Syria, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday.

"We welcome the US’ decision to withdraw its army from Syria. Now it is necessary to prevent the creation of vacuum [in the sphere of security] in Syria. The withdrawal of the army should be carried out in a coordinated way," TV channel NTV quoted Cavusoglu as saying.

The minister noted that the army withdrawal is "an important step for a political settlement in Syria, which should be in focus now." "Turkey supports Syria’s territorial integrity. We have long fought against the group Islamic State (IS, outlawed in Russia) and believe that it was finally defeated," he added.

On December 19, US President Donald Trump declared the withdrawal of American servicemen from Syria. He explained it by the fact that the IS in Syria was defeated and the fight with terrorists was the only reason why the US army was there. According to American officials, the withdrawal of the army of more than 2,000 will take 60 to 100 days. Pentagon chief spokeswoman Dana White highlighted that the campaign against the IS is not over and that the US will continue to work with its partners and allies to quash the IS wherever it will operate.

Washington embarked on a military operation against the IS in Iraq in June 2014 and in Syria in September 2014.

Trump’s decision to withdraw the army from Syria threw not just the US allies, including in the Middle East, but US Congress members as well off balance. Some influential senators from both parties opposed this step of the administration.