UAE and Egyptian military officers have toured the contested Syrian city of Manbij and its outskirts ahead of plans to deploy their forces in the region after the withdrawal of US troops, American Senator Lindsay Graham said on Monday.
“I think we are slowing things [exit from Syria] down in a smart way,” Israeli news website DEBKAfile’s reported Lindsay saying.
“US troops will leave eastern and northern Syria, but America is not deserting this part of the country and will continue to maintain a presence after the pullout,” Lindsay said.
He stressed that the US troops would not leave Syria before completely ending Daesh. “The president assured me he is going to make sure he gets the job done,” he said.
Lindsay said that the Emirati and Egyptian officers visited Manbij and checked out the locations of US and Kurdish YPG militia positions, and took notes on how to deploy their own troops as replacements.
He said that the Syrian regime would not reject the UAE presence because it is also taking part in the reconstruction of Syria. Egypt’s presence would not be rejected as the regime of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has supported that of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for a number of years.
This move would pave the way for more Arab armies to enter Syria, the US official added.