Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed US President Donald Trump’s decision to send troops home from Syria after declaring victory over ISIL.
“The fact that the US has decided to withdraw its troops is right,” Putin told a press conference on Thursday.
Trump announced on Wednesday that all US troops would be withdrawn from Syria and that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ( ISIL , also known as ISIS) group had been “defeated”.
The Russian president said that “as concerns the victory over IS, on the whole I agree with the US president,” he said, adding that “we have dealt serious blows against IS in Syria.”
Trump’s decision to pull out completely was confirmed by US officials and is expected to take place in the coming months.
Nevertheless, Putin cast doubt on Washington’s plans, saying “we don’t see any signs of withdrawing US troops yet, but I concede that it is possible.”
In a Tweet on Thursday, Trump said that his decision to pull around 2,000 US troops out of Syria was “no surprise” and that he had wanted to do it sooner.
In a subsequent Tweet, Trump questioned the US role in the Middle East and said that it was “time for others to finally fight”.
“Much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose. Even without territory, Daesh (ISIL) will remain a threat,” the UK’s Foreign Office said in a statement on Wednesday.
“As the United States has made clear, these developments in Syria do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign. We will continue to work with members of the Coalition on achieving this.”