"It is unrealistic to expect Turkey taking US’ place in Syria"
“We cannot expect a partner such as Turkey to come in and take our place, or another coalition partner to take our place. That is not realistic,” Brett McGurk said.
The former US presidential envoy to the global Coalition, Brett McGurk said that the US had no plan for Syria after pull out, adding that it was ‘unrealistic’ to have Turkey take US’ place in Syria.
Brett McGurk resigned after the US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria, he spoke to the CBS news a few days after a bombing in the northern Syrian city of Manbij in which 19 people were killed, including four Americans.
“There is no plan for what's coming next. Right now we do not have a plan. It increases a vulnerability of our force. It increases the environment on the ground in Syria,” said McGurk.
After Trump’s decision to pull out US troops from Syria, the US Defense Secretary James Mattis also resigned. Different signals came from the US administration and US officials have since made conflicting statements. The Pentagon has recently said that the withdrawal process has begun but did not provide any details on the time it will take to pull US forces out of Syria.
“The president has made that clear- we are leaving. And that means our force should be really with one mission: to get out and get out safely,” said McGurk.
"There's no plan for what's coming next. Right now we do not have a plan,” said McGurk, “[The withdrawal] is increasing the risk to our people on the ground in Syria and will open up space for ISIS,” he added.
We cannot expect Turkey to take US’ place
The former US presidential envoy to the global Coalition, Brett McGurk said that Turkey is not credible to take US’ place, “We cannot expect a partner such as Turkey to come in and take our place, or another coalition partner to take our place. That is not realistic,” he added.
“We cannot add additional missions onto our force while they are trying to withdraw under pressure, because withdrawing under pressure from a combat zone is one of the most difficult military maneuvers we can ask our people to do,” said Brett McGurk.
McGurk wrote an article for the Washington Post on January 18, mentioning in the article that Turkey did not have the military capabilities to carry out a role similar to US’ in Syria.
Donald Trump had also cited that the US wanted to give Turkey a role, yet McGurk and other specialists doubt that such alternative will be effective.
McGurk previously said that the US withdrawal from Syria will strengthen Bashar Al-Assad’s position and will negatively affect the US influence over other actors in Syria, such as Russia and Iran.