NATO chief warns ‘fight against IS is not over’
Islamic State (IS) has a chance to regain influence in Syria after the US military pullout from northeastern Syria, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday. According to the alliance leader, NATO has to preserve the gains its forces made in Syria, where the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) helped NATO defeat IS earlier this year. Stoltenberg warned that “the fight against IS is not over, they can come back.” Experts have been warning that the US withdrawal is likely to play into the hands of major US adversaries including Assad, Russia, Iran and IS.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday agreed on the establishment of a “safe zone” in northeastern Syria. Turkey had proposed the zone, where Moscow will allow it to maintain a military presence as long as Turkey halts it’s incursion into Syria. The Turkish campaign started after the US withdrawal earlier this month.