Middle East

US Syria pointman to also serve as anti-ISIS envoy

Americas Syria pointman James Jeffrey will also serve as the United States envoy to the international coalition against ISIS extremist group, the State Department said on Friday.

“With this additional responsibility, Ambassador Jeffrey will lead and coordinate US Department of State relations with the Global Coalition to defeat (ISIS) and Department efforts to implement President Trumps announcement of a responsible US troop withdrawal from Syria,” spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

Jeffrey, a former US ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, will replace Brett McGurk as anti-ISIS envoy, a post from which he resigned following US President Donald Trumps controversial decision in December to withdraw American forces from Syria.

Critics say the move puts US-allied Kurdish forces at risk of attack by Turkish troops. The US-allied Kurds have played a major role in the war against ISIS, the extremist group that seized swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria but has since suffered major defeats.

The December 21 announcement of McGurks departure followed that of Jim Mattis, who quit as defense chief over fundamental disagreements with Trump, including over Syria.


Last Update: Saturday, 5 January 2019 KSA 14:07 – GMT 11:07




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