Al-Monitor – The sudden announcement by President Donald Trump to withdraw 2,000 US troops from Syria has surprised leaders and analysts around the world. Trump, claiming that the Islamic State has been “defeated,” reportedly made the decision days after he spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan. American politicians have criticized the move, which will leave US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria in limbo.
Iran has not yet officially reacted to the decision. Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi spoke today, but only to condemn Albania for expelling two Iranian diplomats. President Hassan Rouhani, who is in Turkey to meet with Erdogan to expand economic ties, did not address the exit of US troops from Syria, neither at the press conference nor in a joint statement. Rouhani’s only comment on Syria was: “Syria is important for us and it is important Syria be in the hands of the Syrian people. The territorial integrity of this country must be respected by everyone.”
Iranian analysts and commentators, however, were actively dissecting the news of the US withdrawal. Sadollah Zaeri, a conservative commentator and analyst, wrote in Fars News, “As far as volume, in comparison to others America has the fewest number of military troops in Syria and they are settled in eight headquarters in eastern Syria and mostly north of Raqqa.” He continued, “America does not have a strong footing in Syria, meaning they do not have an indigenous ally.”