Turkey Hails Pompeo Comments Over Defense Against 'Terrorists'

Monday, 14 Jan, 2019

Over recent weeks, senior United States officials have offered confusing and contradictory accounts of the terms and speed with which the U.S. is leaving.

A senior Kurdish politician said the Kurds are aware of the USA beginning the withdrawal, describing it as "America's decision". -Turkish consultations as part of the "deliberate and coordinated" withdrawal of American forces from Syria.

Turkey has criticized the US working with the terrorist PKK/PYD to fight Daesh, saying that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

The YPG is an important ally in the US war against the Islamic State.

19 announcement that he was moving to disentangle USA troops from Syria's complex battlefield sparked fears that the move might undo efforts to defeat the Islamic State's final remnant in Syria.

While the US military pullout is now officially underway it has made a slow start.

A Kurdish politician told Reuters earlier this month that the leadership of northern Syria had presented Russian Federation with a road map for a deal and would pursue one regardless of US plans. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, called the decision a "betrayal of our Kurdish partners".

The U.S. -led military coalition in Syria has begun the process of withdrawing from Syria amid conflicting reports over the status of troops.

"Equipment, not troops", a defense official told VOA on Friday, describing the initial stages of the pullout.

The White House has not yet publicly altered it's most recent criteria, those announced by Bolton a week ago: that ISIS must be defeated and the Kurdish forces' security guaranteed before the American troops all come out.

The US decision has injected new uncertainty into the eight-year-long Syrian war and spurred a flurry of contacts over how a resulting security vacuum will be filled across a swathe of northern and eastern Syria where the US forces are stationed.

Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mike Pompeo discussed the latest developments in Syria, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

In the weeks following his announcement, Mr Trump has given differing signals over the future of U.S. involvement in the country. He said it would take 35,000 to 40,000 local forces in northeastern Syria to maintain security, but only about 20 per cent had been trained. The meeting of the Turkish top brass was held on the border with Syria.

"On the ground, the announcement of the pullout is as if they were already gone".

Turkey had rejected any suggestions that U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the U.S. -backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

Relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained over USA backing for the Kurdish YPG, which Turkey views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil.

"When the time and place comes, the terrorists here will be buried in the ditches they have dug, as was done in previous operations", Akar told the Turkish troops.

US national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday American troops will not leave northeastern Syria until ISIS is defeated and USA -backed Kurds were protected.

"We will do whatever is needed to clear terror across our border", he said.

After initially tweeting that he would bring back U.S. troops "now", Mr Trump this week said the United States would "be leaving at a proper pace" while "continuing to fight IS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary".

No U.S. personnel have left Syria yet, according to a Pentagon spokesman.