US Special Envoy for Syria says “personally was not consulted” on withdrawal of US troops

WASHINGTON, US Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said Tuesday that he “personally was not consulted” by President Donald Trump on the decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

Jeffrey told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that he was not on the phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria, but said he was “very thoroughly briefed on it.” On Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, Jeffrey said “that specific decision, I was not (told) in advance.” Asked if Turkey’s, what was described as “invasion” into Syria was inevitable, Jeffrey responded “it was a very real possibility… it was not inevitable.” “It made no sense to scramble the entire situation in northeast Syria in order to do something they could not attain,” he said.

He stressed “Turkey has not really gained all that much from this as I said, but in the process has scrambled the entire northeast, undercut our efforts against (IS) and brought in the Russians and the Syrian regime forces in a way that is really tragic for everybody involved.” “Let me explain this, if US troops had been given the order to stand and fight against a NATO ally, I think… the Turks may have thought twice. They have never been given that order,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Trump tweeted “good news seems to be happening with respect to Turkey, Syria and the Middle East. Further reports to come later!” which comes as the ceasefire in northern Syria expired several hours ago.

Source: Kuwait News Agency