Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Backed Syrian force: Islamic State in 'its final moments'

The US has an estimated 2000 troops in northern Syria The US has an estimated 2000 troops in northern Syria
Jeannette Daniel | 14 January, 2019, 05:26

In two tweets on Sunday, Mr Trump said that he didn't want the Kurds to provoke Turkey either.

"Create 20 mile safe zone". On Friday, the US -led coalition said it had started the pullout, but officials later said only equipment, not troops, were going.

Pompeo also said the withdrawal of USA troops from Syria was a "tactical change" and does not alter US military capacity to counter Daesh and Iran.

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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday sought to reassure Washington's Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS, who fear the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them.

Senior U.S. officials and lawmakers have called on Trump to not abandon the PYD/YPG as he pulls out of Syria. "Stop the ENDLESS WARS!"

"The withdrawal is based on operational conditions on the ground, including conversation with our allies and partners, and is not be subject to an arbitrary timeline", he said.

At the same time, Trump urged the Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the USA trained and armed for years, not to "provoke" Turkey.

More news: Oil Prices Fall More Than A Per Cent

"Turkey expects the U.S. to honour our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda. We will continue to fight against them all".

After media reports suggesting the departure of U.S. forces had begun, the Pentagon later said no troops had yet withdrawn and stressed that the battle against ISIS was continuing as US-backed forces try to capture the group's last remaining pockets of territory in Syria.

"Turkey fights against terrorists, not Kurds".

The bilateral relations have been further aggravated by USA threats to halt the transfer of military tech to its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, including the fifth generation F-35 stealth fighter jets, and even to impose sanctions over Turkey's commitment to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems, a diversification of weapons suppliers that enhances its national security.

Trump's comments follow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's pledge to take action against the YPG, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization linked to the outlawed Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) within Turkey.

Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said it was important for Syrian Kurds and the Syrian government to start talking to each other in light of the U.S. withdrawal plans.

The United Nations said on Friday 25,000 people had fled the violence over the past six months as jihadists defend their dwindling bastions.

An estimated 2,000 civilians remain trapped in the area around the town of Hajin, the United Nations said.

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