Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation of a "safe zone" in northeastern Syria, three weeks after US President Donald Trump suggested the move. "There is no satisfactory plan that is put before us concretely yet," Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his AK Party on Tuesday.
The protection of allied forces who fought and died battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, or ISIS) in Syria must be guaranteed, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in a phone conversation. Pompeo and Cavusoglu talked on Monday as the NATO allies try to reach an agreement over the fate of US-backed, Kurdish-led fighters, who fought against the ISIL, following the planned withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday denounced comments by a senior US official urging protection for Kurdish allies as "seriously mistaken". US National Security Adviser John Bolton held talks in Ankara with Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and other officials on the handling of armed groups in northern Syria and the US's planned pullout of its forces there.
Feeling betrayed by the United States, its Kurdish allies in Syria asked the Syrian government on Friday to protect them from possible attack by Turkey. The request appeared to help open the way for the forces of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, backed by Russia and Iran, to start retaking the Kurdish-held part of the country near Turkey’s border. That would be a big step toward Mr. Assad’s goal of reclaiming all of Syria, upended by almost eight years of war.
President Trump ordered the withdrawal despite opposition from within the White House. In September, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said U.S. troops would stay in Syria until Iranian troops and its proxy forces leave. While Trump claims ISIS has been defeated, a report by the United Nations in August found up to 30,000 ISIS fighters remain in Iraq and Syria.
Turkey may launch a new military operation in northern Syria at any moment, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, adding US President Donald Trump had given a positive response to Turkey's plans. Erdogan's remarks on Monday came days after he announced Turkish forces would launch a new cross-border operation against the US-backed Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.
President Trump has ordered a rapid withdrawal of all 2,000 United States ground troops from Syria within 30 days, declaring the four-year American-led war against the Islamic State as largely won, officials said Wednesday.“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” the president said in a Twitter post on Wednesday morning.