Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu told The Independent here that President Trump has ‘handed Islamic State a propaganda victory’ with the withdrawal of American troops from Syria.
Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said:
“You hand Isis a propaganda victory if you say ‘we’re going to withdraw’, which they took as a sign they were able to say ‘we’ve won’. That can’t be good for us in Britain. I would hate for anybody to be complacent enough to think that threat has gone.”
Mr Basu said in the article that although Isis’s influence operation had been “tremendously affected” by territorial losses, the scale of its propaganda machine meant that the struggle to remove material from the internet continues.
“A lot of it still remains out there and accessible,” he added.
This comes not long after President Trump is reportedly hearing repeated calls to rethink the Syria withdrawal following an Islamic State suicide bombing that represented the single deadliest attack on Americans in Syria since US troops were deployed in 2015.
“My gut tells me that this will reinforce Donald Trump’s instincts about withdrawing,” said Charles Lister, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in an interview with CNN here.
“Trump has said Syria is all about sand and death, we’ve just experienced more death, so all the more reason to leave … but it also fuels the argument made by his detractors that this proves ISIS hasn’t been defeated, that our local allies on the ground are facing serious threats that we can assist them in defending against.”
The withdrawal of US troops from Syria depends on certain conditions, according to US National Security Adviser John Bolton. On a trip to Israel and Turkey earlier in the month, he said he would seek assurances that Kurds in northern Syria would be safe from Turkish attack.