Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

Turkey to attack Syrian Kurds even if US doesn't withdraw FM

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

The Trump administration is yet to decide how it plans to withdraw its troops from Syria, according to several senators said Thursday, following a closed-door metering of Senate Armed Services Committee and Pentagon officials, Stars and Stripes reported.

"Some cargo has already moved", the official told CNN.

"America wants an Arab coalition and force that is capable of facing the different challenges in the region", he said, adding, "US will not leave the Middle East, and destroying Daesh is a priority".

US Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman, said the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria".

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict in Syria through a network of activists on the ground, said the withdrawal began on Thursday night.

The State Department has said that a "united Gulf Cooperation Council the backbone for regional peace, prosperity, security and stability" and key to countering Iran.

Trump's decision to call back US troops in Syria, who were first deployed in 2015, was followed a day later by the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who wrote a letter to the president saying he had the right to have a secretary of defense "whose views are better aligned with yours".

There are some 2,000 USA troops stationed across northeastern Syria. It also led to major criticism that the USA was abandoning its local Kurdish allies amid Turkish threats of an imminent attack. It also led to major criticism that the USA was abandoning its local Kurdish allies amid Turkish threats of an imminent attack.

Last week, President Erdogan angrily rejected calls by US National Security Adviser John Bolton for the Kurdish fighters to be protected.

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The fate of US troops in Syria was further muddled Tuesday when Turkish President Recep Erdogan said Bolton made a "grave mistake" when he demanded Turkey pledge protection of the American supported Kurdish fighters.

"We also know that those fighting alongside us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", he said. Moscow in particular has seized the initiative across the Middle East to the detriment of the U.S.'s interests, and has urged talks between the Kurdish forces and Damascus.

Saying that they evacuated a hospital in Jinderes upon the orders of USA soldiers and being transferred into a hospital in the city center, the woman said that "they wanted us to treat wounded terrorists there".

Foreign allies, including the Kurdish-led force that has spearheaded Washington's fight against the Islamic State, say they had not received warning about the withdrawal announcement, and administration officials initially offered differing timetables for its completion.

The White House has not yet publicly altered it's most recent criteria, those announced by Bolton a week ago: that ISIS must be defeated and the Kurdish forces' security guaranteed before the American troops all come out. The first of those criteria is unmet, but feasible, as the terror group now holds only a small patch of land in Syria. The latter will no doubt prove the more hard objective to meet.

Turkey considers the YPG to be part of the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party, a separatist group in eastern Turkey which has been labeled a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union. It also provoked concerns about the safety of Kurdish forces who fought ISIS alongside the U.S.in Syria but are considered terrorists by Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey continues to cooperate closely with Russian Federation to implement the agreements on the Syrian province of Idlib reached by the presidents of both countries in September previous year, Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.

A senior Kurdish politician said the Kurds are aware of the United States beginning the withdrawal, describing it as "America's decision".

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