Sincerely to minimize the consequences of his withdrawal from Syria, Donald Trump predicted on Wednesday the imminent "release" of "100%" of the territories controlled by
the Islamic State (IS) group, while promising its allies meeting in Washington to continue the fight. Avoiding the resurgence of ISIS, deciding the fate of its foreign fighters held in Syria, dispelling tensions between Kurds and Turks: the foreign ministers of the member countries of the international anti-jihadist coalition, reunited by the head of the American diplomacy Mike Pompeo, had to cope with the many puzzles created by
the American departure.
By ringing the withdrawal in December, to everyone's surprise, the US president had invoked a total defeat of the IS. But this hasty proclamation has since been questioned on all sides.
The recovery of the Caliphate soon?
"The United States Army, our coalition partners and the Syrian Democratic Forces," an Arab-Kurdish alliance, "have liberated virtually all the territory previously controlled by ISIS in Syria and Iraq," he said. said Donald Trump, who came to close the meeting at the State Department. "The formal announcement that we have taken 100% of the caliphate is expected next week," he added. "I do not want to announce it too early," he said, cautious, as he initially hoped to match this success with the coalition meeting and prove that the primary mission of the 2,000 US troops deployed in Syrian north is accomplished.
However, the jihadists who remain "can be very dangerous". "They still have small pockets," "which will be smaller and smaller" but "can be so dangerous," acknowledged the tenant of the White House, promising to "do everything to defeat the last member of the madness" of the IS and to defend our people from radical Islamic terrorism. "
Before him, his secretary of state had already admitted that the IS remained "a dangerous threat", and called on the 74 countries and five multilateral organizations members of the coalition to "reaffirm the objective of the final defeat" of the jihadist group, which in recent years has launched deadly attacks in Europe since its former strongholds, particularly in Syria.
"Resume" foreign jihadists
The two men also once again called on other countries to participate more in the financial effort of this fight. The fate of foreign jihadists who, having fought under the banner of ISIS, were arrested by Kurdish forces allied to Westerners on the ground, is also a problem for several countries, France in mind. Paris initially counted on the Kurds to judge them and incarcerate them on the spot, in order to save themselves from having to manage their return in a country still marked by the attacks of 2015.
But with the departure of GIs, the risk is too great to see these jihadists disperse in nature and resume the fight. The French government seems to be gradually resolved to see them return. Especially since Washington has invited itself in this thorny equation: "The members of the coalition must agree to take back" their jihadists, "prosecute and punish" in their respective countries, launched Mike Pompeo.
What situation for Kurdish fighters?
Finally, the meeting on Wednesday was to be an opportunity to address behind the scenes, the situation of Kurdish fighters who may be alone with Turkey, another member of the coalition but who considers them as "terrorists" and threat an offensive against them.
A "security zone" project on the Turkish-Syrian border was evoked by Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but remains controversial and complex to implement.
"We are engaged in negotiations with our Turkish counterparts on what is feasible in terms of buffer zone" to protect both Turkey that has "legitimate security concerns at its border", and the Kurds "who fought with us in recent years, "said an American official on Wednesday, refusing to say more about what international force could oversee such a zone.