Skip to main content

US to withdraw from Syria, leaving Kurdish allies to face Turkish offensive alone

President Donald Trump tweeted that the war against Islamic State is over and his administration has confirmed American soldiers would leave Syria immediately, a significant diplomatic win for Turkey that follows US approval of a major weapons deal with Ankara.
U.S. forces set up a new base in Manbij, Syria May 8, 2018. Picture Taken May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RC1504520BB0

ISTANBUL — The White House ordered the immediate withdrawal of American soldiers from Syria after President Donald Trump declared victory over the Islamic State on Twitter Wednesday, ceding major diplomatic ground after Turkey’s president promised an offensive against a US-allied Syrian Kurdish militia.

“We have defeated [IS] in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the American president wrote. Administration officials said US forces based in Syria’s northeast would leave straight away, and his spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, confirmed their departure was already happening.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.