us forces to stay in syria for decades say militia allies
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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US forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today US forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Washington’s main Syrian
Ain Issa - Arab Today

Washington’s main Syrian ally in the fight against Daesh says the US military will remain in northern Syria long after the terrorists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) believe the US has a “strategic interest” in staying on, said SDF spokesman Talal Silo.
“They have a strategy policy for decades to come. There will be military, economic and political agreements in the long term between the leadership of the northern areas (of Syria) ... and the US administration,” Silo said.
The US-led coalition against Daesh has deployed forces at several locations in northern Syria, including an air base near the town of Kobani. It has supported the SDF with airstrikes, artillery, and special forces on the ground.
Asked about long-term strategy, Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, referred Reuters to the Pentagon. He said there was “still a lot of fighting to do, even after ISIS (Daesh) has been defeated in Raqqa.”
Daesh remained in strongholds along the Euphrates River Valley, he added, in a reference to its stronghold in Deir Ezzor province southeast of Raqqa.
“Our mission ... is to defeat ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and to set conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability,” Dillon said.
Eric Pahon, a Pentagon spokesman, said in Washington: “The Department of Defense does not discuss timelines for future operations. However we remain committed to the destruction of ISIS and preventing its return.”
Silo said: “The Americans have strategic interests here after the end of Daesh.”
The spokesman said: “They (recently) referred to the possibility of securing an area to prepare for a military airport. These are the beginnings — they’re not giving support just to leave. America is not providing all this support for free.”
He suggested northern Syria could become a new base for US forces in the region. “Maybe there could be an alternative to their base in Turkey,” he added, referring to the Incirlik air base.
“We’re constantly asking them (the US) for clear, public political support,” Silo said. He said the US State Department held its first public meeting with SDF officials this month.
“At the moment there are no meetings being held for a real discussion of Syria’s future. There are initiatives for developing political support for our forces, but we hope this will be bigger,” he said.

source:Arab News

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