Syria - Fight against Daesh - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (20.12.18)

Q : What is your response to the statement by Trump that he will withdraw American troops from Syria?

A : The fight against terrorism is a priority for France. The fight against the global threat of Daesh is ongoing and a long-term commitment.

We believe that Daesh remains a threat in the Levant and that the terrorist organization may continue to rely on a reduced area, notably in Syria.

Thanks to the efforts of the international coalition since 2014 and the local forces – Iraqi forces on the one hand, and Kurdish and Syrian Arab forces on the other hand -, Daesh is now weaker than ever.

We and the partner states in the international coalition are talking with Washington about the timetable and conditions for implementing the decision to withdraw American troops engaged in combating Daesh in Syria announced by the president of the United States.

In the coming weeks, France will endeavor to ensure the security of all U.S. partners, including the Syrian Democratic Forces. The United States must take the protection of the populations of northeastern Syria and the stability of this area into consideration in order to avoid any further humanitarian tragedies and any return by the terrorists.

Q : Can France continue its operations in Syria without the operational support of the United States?

A : Please refer to the Ministry of the Armed Forces.