Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

U.S. withdrawal from Syria 'must not endanger allies'

U.S. withdrawal from Syria 'must not endanger allies'

As the president's national security adviser, Bolton has largely eliminated the internal policy debates that could have fleshed out the troop decision with timetables, conditions and a counterterrorism strategy for after the troops leave.

The YPG has indicated that it might seek a deal with Damascus after the US forces have gone.

He told reporters there was no timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Syria but that there was not an unlimited commitment.

"We elect a president, not a bureaucracy, to execute policy", he said.

And it would be carried out in such a way as to "make sure that the defense of Israel and our other friends in the region is absolutely assured, and to take care of those who have fought with us against ISIS and other terrorist groups".

While Trump has expressed confidence that Turkey, which controls its own Syrian force opposed to the Kurds and to President Bashar Assad, is capable of picking up the remaining fight against the Islamic State, Pentagon and State Department officials question Turkish priorities and capabilities. "We've beaten them, and we've beaten them badly".

Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have stated repeatedly in recent months that driving Iran from Syria was also an objective for the United States and Israel.

Pompeo said that while the issue of the Trump administration's decision to withdraw American forces from Syria will likely be an agenda issue, his high-level meetings with Arab leaders will mostly focus on building a coalition to counter the Iranian regime, which continues to launch terror strikes against Israel and other USA allies in the region.

Bolton's clarification follows a backlash from United States lawmakers and other nations that the Kurds' fate was left in doubt by Trump's surprise announcement last month that he would quickly withdraw.

The Kurds enjoy strongholds in northeastern Syria and southern Turkey and have been integral to USA ground-fighting efforts in Syria.

Mr Bolton, who is to travel on to Turkey on Monday, said the USA is insisting that its Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group are protected from any planned Turkish offensive.

"We won't be finally pulled out, until ISIS is gone".

When he first announced the move in the middle of December, he said: "They're all coming back and they're coming back now". "Russian Federation hates ISIS more than we do", Trump said. "We should all go see what the value of the rial is, see if there's any truth to that".

A Syrian Kurdish official says Syria's Kurds are awaiting clarifications from the United States over America's withdrawal plans following comments made by a top White House aide that appeared to contradict earlier comments by President Donald Trump.

Trump's latest pronouncement, Monday on Twitter, suggested that the USA military mission in the war-torn country was open-ended. "They said again, recently, 'Can we have more time?' " Trump said of USA generals. "I'd refer you to the President's tweet from earlier today", the official said, pasting in Trump's tweet. Their governments have said they are not willing to take them back. "We've knocked them silly". They can do a little of the fighting in their neighborhood also.

"Some of these things like protecting the Kurds, might be possible working with Turkey", says Ashford. Faced with the president's abrupt declaration, which drew howls of protest from Congress and concerned phone calls from allies like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Bolton felt compelled to talk his boss into slowing down the process, these officials said. Want to guess which way our Kurdish allies are betting? "That was obvious", House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., said Sunday on ABC News' "This Week".

Mattis cited his disagreement with the president over Syria among his reasons for stepping down as secretary of defense.

The development shocked allies and United States defence officials alike, with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and senior aide Brett McGurk resigning soon after. However, speaking on Sunday before leaving for his Camp David retreat, he told reporters: "We are pulling back". "It means he's relying on information other than what his advisers are giving him".

"The fact that he makes a decision that might be different than his advisers doesn't mean that he's getting bad information", Mulvaney told CNN.

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