Trump doubles down on Syria pullout: 'Stop the endless wars!'

Lester Mason
January 14, 2019

Col. Ryan acknowledged the US withdrawal in Syria had commenced Friday, but withheld details of specific military plans on troop movements.

The US president also warned that it "will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds".

"We also know that those fighting alongside us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", he added.

He said: "Terrorists can't be your partners and allies. The bulk of recent attacks show how we are more committed than ever to act against Iran in Syria, as we promised".

However, Bolton later said that the U.S.' withdrawal would be subject to defeating Daesh remnants, and Turkey assuring the safety of fighters allied with the US, i.e. the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the YPG.

Senior US officials were shocked too, among them Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who quit in protest.

A US-led coalition of over 70 member-nations has been conducting military operations against the Daesh terror group in Syria and Iraq.

Last week, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said a planned withdrawal of US troops from Syria was conditional on Turkey promising that it would not attack the YPG.

About 2,000 USA military personnel are reported to be deployed in northern Syria. -Turkish consultations as part of the "deliberate and coordinated" withdrawal of American forces from Syria.

Pompeo's call with Cavusoglu came as the top U.S. diplomat continues a marathon Middle East tour, which has taken him to Cairo, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Last month, Trump announced that he wanted United States troops out of Syria - a decision that resulted in the resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS.

The Kurds have sought Russian meditation for the talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government, part of their strategy to fill a vacuum that will be left when United States forces withdraw from the country, as instructed by President Donald Trump.

Pompeo's remarks follow tensions between the USA and Turkey over the fate of Washington's allies in the fight against ISIS.

"We recognize the Turkish people's right and President Erdogan's to defend their country from terrorists", Pompeo said Saturday, according to NPR's Michele Kelemen, who is traveling with the secretary.

Ankara sees the backbone of that alliance, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), as a terrorist group linked to the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK) which has fought a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.

"We will protect Kurds and other Syrians against all terrorist threats".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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