Sunday’s “tragic events” have demonstrated that ISIS is “still active in too many places”, US Acting Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland said, reiterating that the US will not withdraw from Syria.
“First let me set the record straight: The United States is not withdrawing from Syria,” Nuland told CNN Turk.
“As yesterday’s tragic events at a church in Istanbul demonstrated, ISIS is still active in too many places,” the top official continued.
While Ankara and Washington “have not always seen eye to eye on all aspects of how [the fight against terrorism] goes”, Sunday’s ISIS attack on a Catholic church in Istanbul and Iran-linked drone strike on a US outpost in Jordan show a need for cooperation, Nuland said.
“We both have strong interests [in Syria and Iraq], particularly in countering terror,” she said.
The United States has been in partnership with Syrian Kurds, particularly the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who have led the ground operations against ISIS in cooperation with a US-led international coalition. Turkey has also been accused of having provided support for ISIS at the height of the fundamentalist group’s attacks in the Middle East and several large-scale terrorist attacks it has perpetrated in Europe.