U.S. and foreign officials have revealed that as the deadline approaches for the withdrawal of U.S. forces fighting the Islamic State (IS) in Syria, America's closest European allies have rejected a Trump administration request to fill the gap with their own troops, The Washington Post website reports today (February 21, 2019).
Allies have "unanimously" told the U.S. that they "won't stay if you pull out," a senior administration official said. France and Britain are the only other countries with troops on the ground in the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State.
Along with the U.S., they have provided training, supplies, logistics, and intelligence for the Syrian Democratic Forces -- the Kurdish-dominated group that has done most of the fighting against the IS.
European refusal to stay in Syria unless President Trump reverses at least part of his troop withdrawal order is one of several factors that U.S. military officials, lawmakers, and senior administration officials have said should make Trump think again.