Retired U.S. General and former NATO Commander Wesley Clark, without pointing out any proof, declared on CNN’sNew DayMonday morning that Middle Eastern nations presume Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have blackmailed President Donald Trump into withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria.

Last week, President Trump announced that the U.S. is pulling out all 2000 of its soldiers from Syria, stating it had actually attained its goal of beating ISIS in the civil-war-torn nation. “We have won versus ISIS. We have beaten them and we have beaten them terribly,” the president declared in a video tweeted Wednesday night. “We have reclaimed the land and now it’s time for our soldiers to come back house.”

JOHN AVLON: CNN is reporting that the abrupt choice to withdraw from Syria that began these cascading occasions took place after the president consulted with Turkish president Erdogan and essentially said, “Take it. It’s yours. We’re out.” Turkey is part of the NATO union that you [Clark] when led. How worried are you about this procedure or lack thereof and the vital ceding of influence to Turkey and probably other actors in Erdogan’s orbit?

CLARK: I am really worried due to the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any strategic reasoning for the choice and if there is no strategic reasoning for the decision, then you need to ask why was the choice made? I can tell you that people all over the world are asking this. And some of our friends and allies in the Middle East are asking, “Did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a reward or something? What is it? Why would the man decide like this?” Due to the fact that all the suggestions protested it. And it looked like all the truths are against it, too. We’re not quite finished with ISIS. We’re not taking a lot of casualties there. The Kurds have been trustworthy allies. So why do this right now?

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