U.S. to Protect Kurds From Turks in Syria Exit, Bolton Says

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His visit comes a day after Bolton said guarantees about the safety of the Kurds were a "condition" of the withdrawal of about 2,000 troops in the region that President Donald Trump ordered last month.

Previously, a U.S. defense official told CNN that the United States expected Turkey to make various requests for support - including for airstrikes in Syria - but the USA would first seek assurances from Ankara that it will not attack US-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Granting that request and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria will likely depend in part on whether U.S. State Department envoy Jim Jeffrey is successful in his efforts to reach an agreement with Turkey in which Turkish forces would be allowed to enter northern Syria but avoid areas populated mainly by Kurds.

In Washington on Sunday, Mr Trump reiterated that the U.S. would be pulling its troops out of Syria but suggested the move might not happen soon.

One Israeli intelligence source told Fox News there is a "good chance" the USA will heed the request, as quite simply "they live there, they recognize it as Israeli", and it's just a matter of the United States also making that formal recognition. Since 1984 the PKK has waged a war against Turkey that has led to more than 40,000 deaths. Ankara regards the YPG an extension of the PKK, a Kurdish group that has waged a 34-year insurgency in Turkey.

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.

But he said Mr Trump's position was Turkey may not kill the Kurds and that the United States withdrawal would not take place without an agreement on that.

"But as we saw with the embassy move to Jerusalem, this wouldn't necessarily have strategic or enduring negative consequences for the United States or Israel", Ruhe continued.

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Turkey has already launched two cross-border operations in Syria - first in 2016 against ISIS in Azaz and al-Bab then in 2018 against the YPG in Afrin. The US was always going to face this kind of dilemma, this is not a purely Trump administration crisis.

Last month the United States set up observation posts along the Turkish border after Turkey shelled YPG positions.

But Turkey has long castigated Washington for its military relationship with the Syrian YPG militia.

One objective, of course, is the comprehensive defeat of ISIS in Syria. "Turkey would not accept any U.S. demand to allow the YPG to freely roam the region".

Bolton has urged Kurdish allies not to seek protection from Russian Federation or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Mr Trump said: "We have defeated Isis in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency".

"I think they know who their friends are", he said. An enraged Ankara took the rare step of issuing a written denunciation of Pompeo's remarks.

He said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford would continue negotiations with his Turkish counterparts this week to seek protection for America's Kurdish allies in Syria. "But we are decimating ISIS", Trump told reporters. "There is no doubt that a terror group can not be an ally of the USA". The interventions of Russian Federation and Iran, in particular, have guaranteed the survival of the Assad regime, and slowly but surely helped it to re-conquer the country.

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