Macron says learned of US Syria withdrawal ‘by tweet’

Brussels, October 18

French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country has special forces in Syria as part of the anti-Islamic State coalition, complained on Friday that he had learned of a US withdrawal by Twitter.

“I understood that we were in NATO, that the United States and Turkey were in NATO,” Macron told reporters at an EU summit.

“Like everyone else, I learned by tweet that the United States had decided to withdraw its troops.”      

Macron did not say which tweet he was referring to, but on October 7 US President Donald Trump stunned world policy-makers by abruptly announcing “it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars ... and bring our soldiers home.”                 

Since then, US forces have pulled back from Syria’s northern border, and Turkish troops have launched an offensive against Kurdish fighters formerly allied with American and French commandos.

Washington’s European allies have denounced the Turkish operation, and Macron said he and his German and British counterparts will meet Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan soon.

The French leader said he, Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel would use a NATO summit in London in December to confront the Turkish president over the operation against Kurdish forces. — AFP

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