Global Coalition Against ISIS convenes amid uncertainty in northern Syria

isis kurd
Photo: AFP

Foreign ministers from the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, a group of countries that work together to contain ISIS, meet today in Washington DC to address recent developments in northern Syria.

Despite US President Donald Trump announcing a withdrawal of troops from northern Syria on October 6, Washington has since pledged to leave a force of some 500 troops in the country to counter ISIS.

The decision to leave troops in Syria has come under scrutiny both domestically and from some of America’s allies. On one hand, the US is reneging on its promise to bring forces home after years of military presence in Syria. On the other hand, the US decision to withdraw all troops created a vacuum that was then immediately occupied by Turkey and Russia.

With Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to the White House, the redeployment of troops in northern Syria could signal a new negotiation of the Kurdish situation, as a robust containment of ISIS would benefit from Kurdish YPG support.

Despite the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former leader of ISIS, there has been a resurgence of ISIS in northern Syria. It is unclear if the US will mitigate the resurgence through the assistance of local actors, like Turkey, Iraq or the Kurds, or through a multilateral coalition, like the one gathered today in Washington.

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