Other countries must deal with ISIS as US withdraws from northern Syria

A picture taken on December 30, 2018, shows a line of US military vehicles in Syria’s northern city of Manbij.Delil Souleiman | AFP | Getty ImagesPresident Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to explain his decision to pull U.S. troops away from Syria’s northern border, where neighboring Turkey is expected to launch military operations against Kurdish soldiers there.In a five-part thread of tweets, Trump complained that European allies were treating America as a “sucker” by not taking responsibility for some captured Islamic State fighters. He also said that the Kurds, who fought ISIS in the region, have been paid “massive amounts of money and equipment” by the U.S.”It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump tweeted. “WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.”He added: “Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their ‘neighborhood.'”Late Sunday night, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham revealed that the U.S. would withdraw from northern Syria.”Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” Grisham said in a statement following a call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The statement also said that “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.”Some of Trump’s Republican allies were quick to attack the president’s latest decision on the U.S. military presence in Syria. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., one of Trump’s closest confidants, went on Fox News to call the move “short-sighted and irresponsible” and said he would pen a resolution urging Trump to reconsider.Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said withdrawal would be a “grave mistake.”U.S.-backed Kurds in the region have held ISIS fighters, and have been credited with helping defeat the ISIS caliphate. Turkey’s expected incursion in northern Syria, however, has been criticized as an apparent attempt to attack the Kurds amid years of conflict between the nation and the group. A Syrian Kurdish official said in a statement to NBC News that the U.S. has “abandoned us to a Turkish massacre.””We can no longer fight against isis and have to defend ourselves. This could allow isis to return to the region,” the official said.– CNBC’s Natasha Turak contributed to this report.

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