Putin supports US withdrawal from Syria

World News

December 20, 2018 - 10:03 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — The United States’ main ally in Syria today categorically rejected President Donald Trump’s claim that Islamic State militants have been defeated, but Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Trump’s decision to withdraw forces from Syria, saying he agreed a U.S. military presence is no longer needed.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a strongly worded statement laced with bitterness that a premature U.S. pullout before IS is defeated would have dangerous repercussions including a resurgence of the extremist group and a destabilizing effect on the entire region.

“The war against terrorism has not ended and (the Islamic State group) has not been defeated,” the statement said, adding that the fight against IS was at a “decisive” stage that requires even more support from the U.S.-led coalition. It was the first official comment by the group on Trump’s surprise announcement.

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