Monday, 18 October 2021

Spain dismisses US appeal for NATO personnel in Syria

© AFP 2018 / Wojtek RADWANSKI

MADRID: Two months ago, US President Donald Trump made a surprise decision to bring American troops back home from Syria, having declared victory over Daesh. Washington’s European allies, however, seem to disagree with the move.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell has dismissed a US appeal for NATO member-states to fill the void left by its impending pull-out from Syria at a Saturday briefing in Munich.

“Requests between countries aren’t made in press releases or conference comments. Spain and the majority of countries aren’t prepared to step in for the US after a withdrawal that was decided in a unilateral way, by surprise”, Borrell said.

His remark was made on the heels of an earlier comment by US Vice President Mike Pence on the margins of the security conference, as he addressed the US unilateral decision to bring its troops home from Syria.

“This is a change in tactics, not a change in mission. The United States will keep a strong presence in the region. We recognise it will not be enough to simply reclaim the territory of the caliphate. As we enter this new phase, the United States will continue to work with all of our allies to hunt down the remnants of ISIS [Daesh] wherever and whenever they rear their ugly head”.

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