Bolton says withdrawal from Syria is conditional

Bolton says withdrawal from Syria is conditional

Bolton says withdrawal from Syria is conditional

The White House has sent national security adviser John Bolton on a mission to allay Israel's concerns about President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.

Just last month, President Donald Trump abruptly announced the withdrawal of USA troops from Syria, enraging lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and prompting the resignation of his Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Those conditions, he said, included defeating what's left of IS in Syria and protecting Kurdish militias who have fought alongside US troops against the extremist group.

But while Bolton's comments may have come as a relief to some, a top House Democrat stressed that the priorities the national security adviser outlined were "obvious" - and simply highlighted how unsafe Trump's initial withdrawal announcement was. But in that December 19 video, the president had said of the roughly 2,000 USA troops in Syria: "They're all coming back, and they're coming back now". "But we're doing it and we won't be finally pulled out until ISIS is gone". "I've discussed this with the president, and I hope I have a chance to to show it to you directly tomorrow on our visit".

Trump's move surprised allies and advisers, sparked an outcry from lawmakers, and prompted the resignation of Defence Secretary Jim Mattis. While the US has relied on Kurdish forces, known as the YPG, in the fight against ISIS, Turkey considers the group an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The presidential spokesman said the country was going to coordinate with its allies and the countries in the region in fight against terrorism, while resolutely implementing the policies required for the national security.

Joining Bolton in Turkey will be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford. The 35-year-old, who reportedly went by the alias Abu Zaid al-Ameriki, does not appear to have been one of the fighters, mainly USA citizens and legal residents, who had been identified in the Program on Extremism report.

The security advisor also said the US wants assurances from Turkey about the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States before the USA military withdraws.

He said the withdrawal would take place in northeastern Syria, while some forces may remain to the south at the al-Tanf garrison as part of efforts to counter Iran's presence.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the pair were part of the the global anti-jihadist coalition, led by the United States.

The move shocked U.S. allies and American defence officials alike, with USA defence secretary Jim Mattis and a top United States official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk, resigning soon after.

During Trump's presidency, the United States has bombed Assad's forces twice in response to alleged use of chemical weapons. "I think they know who their friends are", he added, speaking of the Kurds.

Trump's move has raised fears over clearing the way for a Turkish assault on Kurdish fighters in Syria, who fought alongside American troops against IS extremists.

In comments carried by the official Anadolu news agency, Ibrahim Kalin said the Kurdish fighters oppressed Syrian Kurds and pursued a separatist agenda under the guise of fighting IS.

Describing the planned release in Syria, a Pentagon official said in a court filing that such actions are "a traditional military practice" used in U.S. Central Command, but the American Civil Liberties Union, which took on the man's case, called it a "death warrant".

Bolton's visit was part of a USA effort to reassure allies after Trump's announcement.

"We don't want ISIS to rise again and be a transnational terrorist threat and we don't want our allies, the Kurds, to be slaughtered by Erdogan in Turkey", said Smith, D-Wash.

Bolton was due to hold talks later on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the discussions would focus on Iran's role in the region and the situation in Syria. He defended the legal basis for the deployment, saying it's justified by the president's constitutional authority.

Members of the elite unit and their US Delta Force partners hit bomb factories close to where Sergeant Tonroe was killed.

Bolton said the USA has asked its Kurdish allies to "stand fast now" and refrain from seeking protection from Russian Federation or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

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