France Says to Stay in Syria after US Troops Ordered Home
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – France will maintain its participation in the coalition purportedly fighting Daesh terrorists in Syria, government officials said Thursday after US President Donald Trump surprised Washington's allies by ordering American troops home.
"For now of course we remain in Syria," France's European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on CNews television, adding "the fight against terrorism is not over."
"It's true that the coalition has made significant progress in Syria, but this fight continues, and we will continue it," she said, AFP reported.
France has stationed fighter jets in Jordan and artillery along the Syrian border in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition, as well as an undisclosed number of special forces on the ground.
On Wednesday, Trump said in a Twitter video that "We've won against ISIS," and that it was time to bring the roughly 2,000 US soldiers home.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Twitter Thursday that the group "has not been wiped of the map, nor have its roots."
"We must definitively defeat the last pockets of this terrorist organization," she said.
The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
The strikes have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.
Syria has on several occasions written to the UN, complaining that the US was flagrantly violating its sovereignty. The US supports militants fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad and has repeatedly attacked Syrian army positions.