US President Donald Trump recently announced in a Twitter statement that the Daesh* terrorist group has been defeated in Syria, adding that this was the only reason for the United States to be in the Middle Eastern country during his presidency.
“Daesh is weaker than ever. Daesh has gone into hiding and insurgency in its manner of fighting. Daesh has lost more than 90% of its territory. Daesh has no more logistics as it could have had. But Daesh is not removed from the map, nor its roots, it is necessary to definitively defeat militarily the last pockets of this terrorist organization”, French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly said on Twitter.
France’s European Affairs Minister Nathalie Loiseau has also commented on the situation, saying that France would maintain its participation in the coalition fighting Daesh forces in Syria.
“It’s true that the coalition has made significant progress in Syria, but the fight continues, and we will continue it”, she said.
She added that, in the current geopolitical circumstances, Europe has to make decisions independently from the United States because Europe has its own priorities.
“We again have to think about the strategic autonomy in making decisions. When we face a direct threat, we have to decide and act autonomously… We may have our own priorities”, Loiseau concluded.
The statements come after White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that US troops were returning home from Syria and that the United States was moving onto the next phase in its campaign to destroy the terror group.
France has reportedly stationed fighter jets in Jordan and artillery along the Syrian border in Iraq as part of the US-led coalition, as well as an undisclosed number of special forces on the ground.
The US-led coalition of more than 70 countries is conducting military operations against the Daesh terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
The coalition’s operations in Iraq are being conducted in cooperation with the Iraqi government, but those in Syria are not authorized by the Syrian government or the UN Security Council.