Us Troop Withdrawal from Northern Syria

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 12:41 pm, 8th October 2019

I thank Mr Ellwood for securing this question and for his comments, and I thank other colleagues for theirs. The SDF has been critical in the defeat of the murderous death cult Daesh. One of my concerns relates to what this move says about our future commitment to allies and about UK foreign policy when we are seeking those boots on the ground. President Trump’s policy is ill-thought-out, with one Pentagon official describing it as a blatant betrayal. What does this mean for UK forces still on the ground? Will he comment on reports that the SDF was compelled to demolish defensive fortifications? Finally, what discussions is he having with his Turkish counterparts, particularly on the humanitarian impact? We know from Save the Children that thousands of children and other refugees need access to food and medicine, so what is he doing to secure that? Is now the time to repatriate the innocent British children who have been stuck in Syria?