Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he wants the US to extend its military presence in Syria following Donald Trump’s declaration that US forces will withdraw from the war-torn country in the very near future.
He wants US troops in the region to help prevent Iranian expansion, saying a US pullout would allow Iran to establish an arms route through Syria and Lebanon.
“We believe American troops should stay for at least the mid-term, if not the long-term,” the Saudi prince said during an interview with the Time on Thursday,
His comments came a few hours after Trump told a crowd in Richfield, Ohio, that American troops were to be pulled out from Syria “very soon”.
Press TV reports: The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call positions held by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of destroying Daesh.
“We’re coming out of Syria very soon. Let the other people take care of it (Daesh) now, very soon. Very soon, we’re coming out.”
The US currently has some 2,000 ground troops inside Syria in a declared aim of crushing the terror group, which is no longer in control of any urban center and is considered to be totally defeated in the Arab country.
Washington also maintains a military base in Syria’s eastern Dayr al-Zawr province, serving as a checkpoint through which it coordinates with anti-Damascus militia to launch purported attacks against the remaining Daesh terrorists holed up in a series of localities along the Euphrates River and a stretch of desert straddling the Iraq-Syria border.
“If you take those troops out from east Syria, you will lose that checkpoint,” bin Salman further said in the interview, which was published on Friday, adding, “And this corridor could create a lot of things in the region.”