Trump signs order for US military's controversial Syria exit

Trump signs order for US military's controversial Syria exit

Washington (Agencies): Donald Trump has signed an order to withdraw American troops from Syria after the US President agreed with his Turkish counterpart to prevent a power vacuum in the wake of the controversial move, the United States military said on Sunday.

The announcement that US troops would leave the civil war-racked country — where they have been deployed to assist in the multinational fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group — shocked global partners and American politicians alike.

Turkey was a rare ally that lauded Trump’s momentous decision on Syria, a country where it will now have a freer rein to target US-allied Kurdish fighters who have played a major role in the war against IS but are deemed terrorists by Ankara.

Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone last night and “agreed to ensure coordination between their countries’ military, diplomatic and other officials to avoid a power vacuum which could result following any abuse of the withdrawal and transition phase in Syria,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Late last night, Trump tweeted that Erdogan had assured him that any remaining IS fighters in Syria will be eliminated.