Merkel feels US exit from Syria is a bad idea

Updated: Feb 17, 2019, 12:44 IST | Agencies | Munich

Islamic State group fighters have been boxed in to a scrap of land in the battle for their last remaining territory in northeastern Syria and their final defeat is expected imminently

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Munich: German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Saturday that Washington's plan to swiftly pull its soldiers out of Syria risks allowing Russia and Iran to boost their role in the region.

Islamic State group fighters have been boxed into a scrap of land in the battle for their last remaining territory in northeastern Syria and their final defeat is expected imminently.

Once they are defeated, US forces are set to soon withdraw after President Donald Trump in December announced the pullout of around 2,000 troops. Washington says it will maintain a presence in the region, with Vice-President Mike Pence pledging to carry on the fight.

"The United States will continue to work with all our allies to hunt down the remnants of ISIS wherever and whenever they rear their ugly heads," Pence said. "Is it a good idea for the Americans to suddenly and quickly withdraw from Syria? Merkel asked at the Munich Security Conference.

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