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m3n4.net March 21, 2019


Trump discussed 'slow & highly coordinated' exit from Syria with

25 December 2018, 12:39 | Tara Lloyd

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Trump said he coordinated with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who has been warning that he will attack US-allied Kurdish fighters who had seized ground from ISIS.

In an abrupt policy shift, Trump announced on Wednesday that Washington would withdraw the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, upending a pillar of American policy in the Middle East and alarming United States allies.

Trump said on Sunday he had discussed the "slow & highly co-ordinated pullout of U.S. troops from the area" with Erdogan in a phone call.

The Kurdish-led SDF, backed by Washington, are engaged in fight against terrorists, but they also keep under control regions in northeast Syria, which is regarded by Damascus as illegal.

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The heightened military activity comes days after President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would postpone a planned military operation on the Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria after the United States made a decision to withdraw from Syria. "We will continue to act to prevent Iran's effort to militarily entrench itself in Syria, and if needed we will even increase our activities there".

"During a conversation I had with Mr. Trump - he said 'ISIS, can you clear ISIS from this area?'" Erdogan recalled.

Jarabulus and Al-Bab were areas captured from IS during Ankara's first military operation in August 2016 which lasted until March 2017.

"We've won against [Daesh]", Trump said in a short video posted on Twitter. Sean Robertson, said the execute order for withdrawal from Syria has been signed but provided no further details. "Mattis understood this", Macron said during a trip to Chad.

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Jennifer Cafarella, a Syria expert at the Institute for the Study of War, said the withdrawal is likely to create new problems. Even the military defeat of the southeastern Syrian pocket now under attack, McGurk said, would take several more months.

McGurk was appointed by Obama in 2015 and has been instrumental in shaping Washington's policy in northern Syria, particularly its backing of Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militia that have been fighting Islamic State with USA support for three years.

"An ally must be reliable, to coordinate with its other allies", Macron said. In recent weeks Turkey had said the US was dragging its feet in implementing the deal and had vowed to launch a new offensive against the Kurds.

Erdogan went on to say: "In Syria, it is a matter of freedom and its territorial integrity".

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday criticized departing Defence Secretary James Mattis and his view of alliances, saying the Pentagon chief failed to recognise the true costs of America's military support around the world.

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He said up to 15,000 Syrian fighters trained in Turkey are ready to take part in the operation.



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