Northern Syria administration says U.S. troop decision will protect area

February 22, 2019

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Kurdish-led administration that runs much of northern Syria welcomed a U.S. decision to keep 200 American troops in Syria after a U.S. pullout, saying it would protect their region and may encourage European states to keep forces there too.

“We evaluate the White House decision … positively,” Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of foreign relations in the region held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, told Reuters.

“This decision may encourage other European states, particularly our partners in the international coalition against terrorism, to keep forces in the region,” he added.

“I believe that keeping a number of American troops and a larger number of (other) coalition troops, with air protection, will play a role in securing stability and protecting the region too,” he said.

(Reporting by Ellen Francis; Writing by Tom Perry)

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