Søreide warns United States about risk of pulling forces out of Syria
Foreign Minister, Ine Eriksen Søreide of Høyre (H), said she has informed the United States about the risk of withdrawing forces from Syria.
The White House announced on Wednesday that the United States has begun the withdrawal of its forces from the country. The reason for the decision to terminate the operation against IS is that the extremist group is considered to be defeated in Syria.
“We have pointed out what we think there is risk in this, and we want a coalition meeting – an anti-ISIL meeting in Washington in early February. I suppose we know more about how Americans look forward to this” Søreide told NRK news.
She met her American colleague, Mike Pompeo, on Wednesday, and said it is still unclear how the withdrawal should take place.
‘’Exactly how this is going to happen is one of the things Pompeo said they are working with. Among other things, the United States wants
to continue to have a presence with anti-terrorist forces, and much of the discussion will, for example, be how big they will be, how many and possibly how long they will be present. It will also be crucial for the efforts
the US can still make on the ground” said Søreide.
“There was also a clear message from Pompeo that they will neither leave Syria, nor abandon the fight against ISIL, but they want to move to a new phase,” said Søreide.
The Foreign Minister emphasised that there is still a risk that IS will again be able to strengthen in the future.
“Although much of the territorial battle against ISIL has been won, there are still many pockets of ISIL fighters and considerable resistance. The risk that they could gain a stronger foothold again is certainly present.”
ISIL and ISIS are other terms for IS.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today