February 22, 2019 / 9:36 AM / a month ago

N. Syria administration says US troop decision will protect area

BEIRUT, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The Kurdish-led administration that runs much of northern Syria welcomed a U.S. decision to keep 200 American troops in Syria after a U.S. pullout, saying it would protect their region and may encourage European states to keep forces there too.

“We evaluate the White House decision ... positively,” Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of foreign relations in the region held by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, told Reuters.

“This decision may encourage other European states, particularly our partners in the international coalition against terrorism, to keep forces in the region,” he added.

“I believe that keeping a number of American troops and a larger number of (other) coalition troops, with air protection, will play a role in securing stability and protecting the region too,” he said. (Reporting by Ellen Francis; Writing by Tom Perry)

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