Mattis: Trump's troop pullout will lead to 'disarray' in Syria and Isis resurgence

Photograph: Leah Millis/Reuters

said Donald Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of US troops from the Syria-Turkey border has led to “disarray” in the war-torn territory, increasing the chances of a resurgence of Islamic State militants currently guarded by Kurdish forces.” data-reactid=”16″>The former defense secretary James Mattis has said Donald Trump’s abrupt withdrawal of US troops from the Syria-Turkey border has led to “disarray” in the war-torn territory, increasing the chances of a resurgence of Islamic State militants currently guarded by Kurdish forces.

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But the retired general passed up an opportunity to directly criticise the president.

Islamic State had escaped the camp where they were being held, following heavy Turkish shelling.” data-reactid=”19″>After Mattis’s remarks were released, the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said 785 foreign individuals affiliated with the Islamic State had escaped the camp where they were being held, following heavy Turkish shelling.

announced the withdrawal this week, few others have declined to criticise the move. The president has faced stringent attacks from both sides of the aisle, including Republican senators usually resolutely supportive.” data-reactid=”20″>Since Trump announced the withdrawal this week, few others have declined to criticise the move. The president has faced stringent attacks from both sides of the aisle, including Republican senators usually resolutely supportive.

In Washington on Saturday night, Trump told the conservative Values Voter Summit he was “an island of one” on Syria.

“We have to bring our great heroes, our great soldiers, we have to bring them home,” he insisted. “It’s time. It’s time.”

If we don’t keep the pressure on, then Isis will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back

James Mattis

announced the withdrawal on Monday, after a call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and prompting widespread accusations of a betrayal of Kurds allied to the US in war-torn Syria whom Turkey, which regards some as terrorists, swiftly attacked. The president also said Erdoğan would visit the White House.” data-reactid=”25″>Trump announced the withdrawal on Monday, after a call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and prompting widespread accusations of a betrayal of Kurds allied to the US in war-torn Syria whom Turkey, which regards some as terrorists, swiftly attacked. The president also said Erdoğan would visit the White House.

reported that Turkish forces which shelled an area where US special forces troops remained on Friday had known for months they were there.” data-reactid=”26″>US forces are not out of harm’s way. On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that Turkish forces which shelled an area where US special forces troops remained on Friday had known for months they were there.

resigned last year over Trump’s attempts to withdraw from Syria, told the Post: “Turkey wants us off the entire border region to a depth of 30km [20 miles]. Based on all the facts available, these were warning fires on a known location, not inadvertent rounds.”” data-reactid=”27″>Brett McGurk, the former US envoy to the global coalition against Isis who resigned last year over Trump’s attempts to withdraw from Syria, told the Post: “Turkey wants us off the entire border region to a depth of 30km [20 miles]. Based on all the facts available, these were warning fires on a known location, not inadvertent rounds.”

Airstrikes and shelling continued in Kurdish areas and harrowing scenes among panicked and grieving refugees were reported and broadcast worldwide. More than 130,000 people have been displaced from rural areas around Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain as a result of the fighting, the United Nations said.” data-reactid=”28″>Airstrikes and shelling continued in Kurdish areas and harrowing scenes among panicked and grieving refugees were reported and broadcast worldwide. More than 130,000 people have been displaced from rural areas around Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain as a result of the fighting, the United Nations said.

Turkish forces and their Syrian allies seized large parts of the town of Suluk, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday, the fifth day of the offensive.

reported that earlier this week Gen Mazloum Kobani Abdi, head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told a senior US diplomat: “You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered.”” data-reactid=”30″>On Saturday, CNN reported that earlier this week Gen Mazloum Kobani Abdi, head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told a senior US diplomat: “You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered.”

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Also on Saturday, another SDF commander told a press conference: “The protection of Isis prisons will not remain our priority. The defence of our soil will be prioritised if [the] Turkish military continues its attacks.”

Turkey is facing threats of US sanctions – reiterated by Trump in his speech on Saturday night – unless it calls off the incursion. Two of its Nato allies, Germany and France, have said they are halting weapons exports and the Arab League has denounced the operation.

NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.” data-reactid=”34″>Mattis discussed the threat of an Isis resurgence on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, in an interview to be broadcast in full on Sunday.

excerpts released by the broadcaster. “Obviously, the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks. And we’ll have to see if they’re able to maintain the fight against Isis. It’s going to have an impact. The question is, how much?”” data-reactid=”35″>“It’s in a situation of disarray right now,” he said in excerpts released by the broadcaster. “Obviously, the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks. And we’ll have to see if they’re able to maintain the fight against Isis. It’s going to have an impact. The question is, how much?”

Asked if the US would regret Trump’s decision, Mattis said: “We have got to keep the pressure on Isis so they don’t recover.

“We may want a war over. We may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ‘enemy gets the vote’, we say in the military. And in this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on, then Isis will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.”

said the Kurds “didn’t help us in the second world war, they didn’t help us in Normandy, for example”.” data-reactid=”38″>Trump said this week any militant prisoners escaping from camps guarded by Kurds “will be escaping to Europe”. He also said the Kurds “didn’t help us in the second world war, they didn’t help us in Normandy, for example”.

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Kurds said some Isis prisoners had escaped. In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian insurgents, the Kurds said mercenaries had attacked a camp where Isis “elements” attacked camp guards and opened the gates.” data-reactid=”42″>On Sunday, the Kurds said some Isis prisoners had escaped. In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian insurgents, the Kurds said mercenaries had attacked a camp where Isis “elements” attacked camp guards and opened the gates.

Turkey and its mercenaries is now taking place near a camp in Ain Issa, where there are thousands from families of Isis,” the Kurds said, adding “some were able to escape after bombardments that targeted” the camp.” data-reactid=”43″>“The brutal military assault led by Turkey and its mercenaries is now taking place near a camp in Ain Issa, where there are thousands from families of Isis,” the Kurds said, adding “some were able to escape after bombardments that targeted” the camp.

resigning in December 2018.” data-reactid=”44″>Mattis’s apparent disinclination to directly criticise the president’s words and behaviour over Syria, even as the war-torn country spirals into ever worse chaos as a result of US actions, is in keeping with his approach since resigning in December 2018.

duty of silence” regarding the president he served. That commitment has held despite Mattis having resigned, like McGurk, in response to an earlier attempt by Trump to pull US troops from Syria and in protest at his treatment of America’s allies.” data-reactid=”45″>The retired US Marine Corps general has said he has a “duty of silence” regarding the president he served. That commitment has held despite Mattis having resigned, like McGurk, in response to an earlier attempt by Trump to pull US troops from Syria and in protest at his treatment of America’s allies.

published a memoir, Call Sign Chaos. The book skirted his service in the Trump administration, focusing instead on his career in the US armed forces.” data-reactid=”46″>In September, Mattis published a memoir, Call Sign Chaos. The book skirted his service in the Trump administration, focusing instead on his career in the US armed forces.