United States to Protect Kurds From Turks in Syria Exit, Bolton Says

United States to Protect Kurds From Turks in Syria Exit, Bolton Says

United States to Protect Kurds From Turks in Syria Exit, Bolton Says

United States National Security Adviser John Bolton started his visit to Israel on Sunday, saying the US will withdraw from Syria only after Turkey will provide assurance to safeguard Kurds.

Defeating Islamic State is a top priority for Turkish officials eager to see American troops withdraw from Syria, and they'll discuss their plans with visiting U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Mr. Bolton said Mr. Trump has told President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey that withdrawal is pending assurances that Turkey will protect Kurdish fighters who have long provided the US with solid support in the campaign against Islamic State, adding, "I'm going to follow what the president said".

Bolton said in Israel that the USA would pull out only after its troops had rooted out what's left of ISIL in Syria and after the administration had reached an agreement with Turkey to protect Kurdish militias who have fought alongside Americans against the extremists. Bolton is in Jerusalem to reassure Israel in the wake of Donald Trump's announcement that the USA would withdraw its 2200 soldiers from Syria.

Mr Bolton, who is in Israel to reassure the USA ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, says there is no timetable for the pull-out of American forces in north-eastern Syria, but insists it is not an unlimited commitment.

"The US finds itself in an unsustainable position, which was set to happen the moment it chose to arm the PKK's Syria offshoot", said Meral.

But on December 19 Trump tweeted: "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency".

In this March 31, 2018 photo, a Syrian woman with her kids walks in front of buildings that were destroyed during a battle between the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters and ISIL militants in Manbij, north Syria. A spokesman for the group, Mustafa Bali, said they included two Americans, two Pakistanis and one Irish citizen.

Trump defended his decision on the conviction that other countries should take on the burden of fighting whatever remains of IS, and has made tentative agreements with Turkey's President Recep Erdogan to essentially hand over the job to the Turks.

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National security adviser John Bolton, who is in Israel for talks, has also indicated a more gradual withdrawal.

"We've won against ISIS", he said at the time.

But he said Mr Trump's position was Turkey may not kill the Kurds and that the U.S. withdrawal would not take place without an agreement on that. "But we are decimating ISIS", Trump told reporters, using a different acronym for IS. "Secondly, the president chose to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the embassy to Jerusalem-a historic decision which we welcome". "Acknowledging Israeli sovereignty over the strategically-critical heights would obviously be in Israel's interest, but also in the interest of the United States", explained Jonathan Ruhe, Associate Director, JINSA's Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy.

When he announced the withdrawal last month, a move that led to the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, among others, Trump said: "Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back and they're coming back now".

"The Golan Heights are tremendously important for our security", Netanyahu said during the press conference, adding that Israel "will never leave" the area. USA officials later said American forces had been given 30 days to leave Syria. Still, some 200 US troops will remain in the vicinity of al-Tanf, in southern Syria, to counter growing Iranian activity in the region, he said.

Many countries are reluctant to bring them back home while Syria's Kurds argue they do not have the capacity to keep them locked up much longer. Trump, however, also toured the area in a previous visit.

Pompeo is also headed to the region this week to reassure Arab allies that the United States will not abandon them to either the Islamic State or to Iran.

Local sources, requesting not to be named, said Israeli forces shot and injured the unnamed Palestinian girl at Za'tara checkpoint south of Nablus, located approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Monday afternoon, and did not allow paramedics to attend to her.

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