Pompeo ‘optimistic’ Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

‘We Don’t Take Orders From Bolton’: Pentagon Plans Syria Withdrawal

On Jan. 8, he began a nine-nation tour of the Middle East, which is aimed at reassuring allies following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision in December to withdraw all American troops from Syria.

The first withdrawals come amid confusion over plans to implement President Donald Trump's pullout order and threats from Turkey to attack the Kurds, who are USA allies in the fighting against ISIS.

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

President Donald Trump claimed in December that USA troops had defeated the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and would now return home. Earlier this week, the Pentagon said in a statement that "out of concern for operational security, we will not be discussing specific troop movements or timelines, but we do expect to provide a periodic update on progress regarding percentages of equipment removed from Syria".

There are some 2,000 USA troops stationed across northeastern Syria.

Why is the USA withdrawing from Syria? He suggested that the protection of Kurdish allies in the country would be a redline for the withdrawal.

Residents near border-crossing points typically used by US forces moving in and out of Syria from Iraq told Reuters they had seen no obvious or large-scale movements following Friday's announcement. The comments drew a rebuke from Erdogan, who slammed them as a "serious mistake". Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on a tour of the region, has also sought to reassure the Kurds that they will be safe after US troops withdraw from the country.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back on reports the administration was contradicting itself Thursday on a trip to Cairo, Egypt, saying "there's no contradiction whatsoever".

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

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

Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist movement and has repeatedly threatened to move into Syria to create a buffer zone along the border.

But shortly after, other witnesses on the ground in Syria reported seeing an influx of Western troops and equipment to parts of Aleppo province in northern Syria.

When did the withdrawal start?

The Syrian government hopes dialogue with Syrian Kurdish groups will intensify, a minister said on Sunday, signaling support for talks the Kurds hope will lead to a political deal between two of the main players in the multi-sided war.

A Kurdish politician told Reuters last week the Kurds had presented Moscow with a roadmap for a deal with Damascus.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu went so far on Wednesday as to say that if the USA withdrawal from Syria was delayed, "then we will put this decision into practice", suggesting Turkey could go after the Kurds in short order.

The healthcare worker noted that she attempted to escape several times and was left with no courage as she failed, but she succeeded with the help of Turkey and was reunited with her family thanks to Turkey.

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