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Former US Defense Secretary James Mattis during a debate in New York, September 3, 2019. SPENCER PLATT / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

As Turkey continues its operation, Washington announced this Sunday, October 13, the withdrawal of all of its troops present in Syria. A necessary decision according to the US administration which had already announced a first withdrawal earlier this week. An unfortunate choice, according to former Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

With our correspondent in New York, Loubna Anaki

The current situation is chaotic. This is essentially the opinion of the former strongman of the Pentagon. Invited this Sunday on the American channel NBC, James Mattis did not directly criticize the decision of Donald Trump , but warned against the consequences of the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

" Daech has not disappeared, warns James Mattis. We can say that we won a war. We may have won a war, but if we do not maintain the pressure, the Islamic State group will be reborn. there is no doubt. "

At the same time on Fox News, the current Secretary of Defense Mark Esper defended the decision of its president and announced the withdrawal of all US forces from northern Syria. A thousand men. According to the Pentagon boss, the aim is to prevent the troops from being caught between Turkish forces and Kurdish forces . The United States, says Mark Esper, did not abandon the Kurds.

Washington does not want fighting with the Turkish army

" We have not signed to fight Turkey, one of our NATO allies, for the Kurds, he defends himself. But we are doing everything possible so that the Turks stop their regrettable operation, that they return to the other side of the border. "

The Defense Secretary also assured that talks were continuing with Turkey and that he hoped to convince President Erdogan to respect the calls of the international community.

To listen: Why Donald Trump "let go" Kurds