France's Macron welcomes US reversal on keeping troops in Syria
February 25 2019 06:35 PM
French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron


French President Emmmanuel Macron on Monday welcomed the United States' decision to leave American troops in Syria, a reversal by US President Donald Trump that came after an outcry from coalition allies such as France.

‘On the US decision, I can only but welcome this choice,’ Macron told a news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih. ‘The US decision is a good thing. We will continue to operate in the region within the coalition.’

In December, Trump ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 troops in Syria after he said they had defeated Islamic State militants, an abrupt decision that sparked consternation among allies and was a factor in his defence secretary's resignation.

Macron had personally sought to convince Trump to maintain troops in Syria, French diplomats said at the time, warning him about the risks of pulling out too early.

The United States will leave about 400 US troops split between two different regions of Syria, a senior administration official said last Friday.

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