In a move that many will interpret as critical of President Trump’s foreign policy, former Defense Secretary General James Mattis said on Sunday that the resurgence of the Islamic State (ISIS) is “a given” if the US withdraws its troops from the fight in Syria.
Drawing a parallel with Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq, Gen. Mattis had this to say:
We may want a war over, we may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out, as President Obama learned the hard way out of Iraq, but the ‘enemy gets the vote,’ we say in the military. And in this case, if we don’t keep the pressure on, then ISIS will resurge. It’s absolutely a given that they will come back.
The US has withdrawn troops from a buffer zone along Syria’s border with Turkey, allowing the Turks to launch a major offensive against America’s Kurdish allies in the region. Mattis says Turkey has legitimate security concerns about Kurdish terrorists inside their country, but there have also been questions about President Erdogan’s views on ISIS. Many analysts are worried that the confusion of the Turkish assault could lead to ISIS prisoners escaping and restarting their crazed jihad.
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