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US plans to withdraw forces from Northern Syria

Emily Thornberry MP, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, speaking after the announcement of US plans to withdraw its forces from Northern Syria, said “While we want to see the negotiated withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria, it is an utter disgrace for the Trump administration to stitch up a deal with Turkey over Northern Syria, which leaves the Kurdish community at their mercy, and risks opening up a dangerous new front in this war. The Kurdish people have fought harder than anyone else in Syria to end the territorial grip that ISIS had established in Northern Syria, and they have paid a heavy price. Today’s announcement from the White House is not just an abandonment of their allies, but a betrayal of their sacrifice.

“As a matter of urgency, the UK government must demand first, that Kurdish representatives are brought into the newly-constituted Syrian Constitutional Reform Committee so they can speak up for their own rights; second, that Turkey must not increase its military presence in Northern Syria or its support for Syrian militias operating on its behalf; and third, that there must be no attempt by Turkey to use this announcement as a green light to return non-Kurdish Syrian refugees into Northern Syria in an effort to change the region’s ethnic composition.”