Turkey Wants US Military to Leave Syria, Iraq After Afghanistan Withdrawal, Erdogan Says
16:21 GMT 26.09.2021 (Updated: 16:46 GMT 08.01.2023)
American and NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan by 30 August after US President Joe Biden announced the end of the nearly 20-year war. The withdrawal, however, was marked by chaos as many Afghan civilians who helped the alliance remained abandoned in the country seized by the Taliban*.
Turkey wants the US to withdraw its troops from other countries in the region similar to how it pulled out of Afghanistan, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated, responding to a question from CBS News. Erdogan specifically named Syria and Iraq as the two countries where Washington should end its military presence in his view. The Turkish president suggested that such a move would promote peace in the region.
"Of course, if I have the choice I would, I would want them to get out of Syria and Iraq. Just like the way they have withdrawn from Afghanistan. Because if we are going to service peace around the world, it's no longer meaningful to remain in those parts of the world. We can just leave those people, leave those administrations to make up their own minds".
When asked by the CBS anchor, whether Erdogan ever raised the issue of a possible withdrawal from Syria with US President Biden, the Turkish president said he never asked POTUS about this when they met in Brussels. Erdogan added that he and Biden mostly focused on Afghanistan in their conversations.
The US and other NATO countries withdrew from Afghanistan by the end of August, following Biden's announcement of plans to end the almost 20-year war in the country. Despite being announced months prior, the withdrawal was described by observers as "chaotic" due to the West's shortcomings in evacuating their nationals, as well as Afghan civilians, who once assisted them.
14 September 2021, 17:13 GMT
American troops are still deployed in Iraq, despite several attempts to pull them out since the start of the US offensive against the country, and in Syria. The US never received a UN Security Council mandate or invitation from Damascus to send its troops to the Arab Republic. The Syrian government calls the presence of American troops on its soil and its involvement in the extraction and export of its natural resources illegal.
*The Taliban is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries