French forces to remain in Syria to definitively uproot IS insurgents: minister

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-20 21:07:57|Editor: xuxin
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PARIS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Thursday French troops would carry out operations against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria to totally wipe out the group's remaining pockets, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American forces from the Arab country.

"Daesh (Arabic Acronym for IS) has been weakened more than ever... Daesh has lost more than 90 percent of its territory. Daesh has no more logistics as it had before," Florence Parly said on Twitter.

"But, Daesh has not been wiped from the map nor has its roots. It is necessary that the last pockets of this terrorist organization be definitively defeated militarily," she added.

The French minister's tweets came in response to Trump's order to withdraw American forces from Syria after he said the Islamic State was defeated.

In a separate interview, Minister of European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau ruled out an eventual withdrawal of French troops from Syria.

"For now, of course we are staying in Syria because the fight against the Islamic State is an essential issue," Loiseau told CNews television.

"Each one has its own priorities. The most important thing is to have ours and the means to achieve them," she added.

France was one of the first European countries to join the international coalition against the IS. Its fighter jets bombed the group in Iraq in 2014 and IS targets in Syria a year later.

Around 1,000 French troops including special forces have been based in the region.