Trump wants to pull out of Syria

US President Donald Trump has announced plans to withdraw US troops from Syria and cancel aid that had already been pledged for the country's reconstruction. A withdrawal would have a negative impact on the balance of power in the region, some commentators stress. Others see the step as tantamount to capitulation.

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Evenimentul Zilei (RO) /

Consequences would be felt across the Mideast

A withdrawal would have repercussions for Syria and the entire Middle East, Evenimentul Zilei writes:

“The US presence in Manbij [in northern Syria] and Al-Tanf [on the border with Irak] means that there are fewer Turkish and Russian attacks in the region. Turkey would benefit from a US withdrawal, but the main beneficiaries would be Russia, Iran and the Assad Regime, which would gain total control of the oil reserves and push the opposition back into the desert. ... Russia could then cast itself as the sole mediator and benefactor in the region, which would in turn have repercussions throughout the Middle East.”

Diken (TR) /

A major risk for Turkey

The prospect of the US withdrawing poses serious risks for Turkey, Diken concludes and proposes a solution:

“The US commanders on the battlefield keep stressing how much they owe to the YPG. The high probability of their withdrawing without taking back the weapons they gave the Kurds must not be ignored. That would abruptly reduce the leeway of Turkey, which would be suddenly left on its own with Russia, Assad and Iran. New masses of refugees may then gather on the Turkish border. Such developments can only be prevented if instead of a war a basis for peace with the Kurds is created.”

Ria Novosti (RU) /

Trump passing off defeat as victory

Trump is using the withdrawal to conceal his defeat in Syria, the state-run news agency Ria Novosti criticises:

“The official US capitulation in Syria is taking place before our eyes - presented in old Hollywood fashion as a resolute and heroic victory for the US and its president. French President Emmanuel Macron tried the same political trick not long ago when - despite the absurdity of the claim - he attributed the victory against the IS to his country's efforts. In Trump's case political expediency functions in exactly the same way. In today's world of triumphant political post-modernism, few people are interested in objective reality. For many politicians, image is practically all that counts.”