Oct 27, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Iraqi president: Allies are "worried about the dependability of the U.S."

In an interview with Jonathan Swan for "Axios on HBO," Iraqi President Barham Salih said U.S. allies are worried about America's dependability in the era of President Trump.

The big picture: The U.S. withdrawal from northern Syria has called into question Trump's loyalty to allied causes. The removal of U.S. troops in the region caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Kurds after Turkish forces invaded.

  • Iraq shares a border with both Turkey and Syria, leaving it particularly vulnerable to the withdrawal's effects.

What they're saying:

"The staying power of the United States is being questioned in a very, very serious way. And allies of the United States are worried about the dependability of the United States."
— Salih to "Axios on HBO"

Salih added that the issue does not mean he will break Iraq's ties with the U.S., but it will cause him to recalibrate.

"I'm not one of those, again, who goes and says to Americans or the Russians, 'If you are not doing this for me, I'm gonna go the other way around.' We need to think of our own priorities, and I've been very clear about it. But for the United States and its role in the — in the world, not just in the Middle East, this is a significant moment."
— Salih to "Axios on HBO"

Go deeper: Where U.S. troops and military assets are deployed in the Middle East

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