After the U.S. Withdrawal, What’s Next for France’s Military Operations in Syria?

French soldiers at a military outpost on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq, Jan. 2, 2017 (AP photo by Christophe Ena).
French soldiers at a military outpost on the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq, Jan. 2, 2017 (AP photo by Christophe Ena).
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The prospect of an abrupt withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, first announced by President Donald Trump last December, sparked fear and uncertainty for the other countries participating in the U.S.-led international coalition fighting the last remnants of the Islamic State there. Trump’s decision has affected France in particular, putting the presence of French forces in Syria, until now somewhat overlooked, in the spotlight. France’s military operations in Syria grew out of its involvement in Iraq, where it initially joined in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS, at the request of the Iraqi government in September 2014. At […]

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