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John Bolton makes US Syria withdrawal conditional on IS defeat, Kurds safety

John Bolton makes US Syria withdrawal conditional on IS defeat, Kurds safety

Mr. Bolton, making a visit to Israel, told reporters that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and Turkey provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the United States.

At the same time, National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton warned the authorities of Damascus that the US troops withdrawal from Syria shouldn't be considered as a green light for using chemical weapons.

John Bolton told journalists travelling with him on a trip to Israel that the United States wanted a guarantee from Turkey that Kurds in Syria would be protected, the U.S. news outlet said.

Trump's advisers and Republican allies have warned that pulling out US troops would also leave Kurdish fighters - who had been vital USA allies - susceptible to attacks by Turkey, where leaders see the group as a threat to their nation's sovereignty.

President Trump announced in mid-December that the USA will withdraw all of its 2,000 forces in Syria.

Emile Hokayem, Senior Research Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Isil would be emboldened by news of an American withdrawal, describing President Trump's new Syria policy as "messy". "It's important to know that we have the backing of our great friend and ally the United States of America".

As President Trump rightly said, when justifying his announcement, "Syria was lost long ago". The two soldiers have been airlifted to hospital by a United States helicopter.

The US alliance with the YPG, which it has helped arm and train, has been one of the main stumbling blocks in relations with Ankara because of YPG's ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Bolton said Trump has made clear he would not allow Turkey to kill the Kurds.




American National Security Adviser John Bolton has toured the ancient tunnels beneath the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.

"I never said we'd be doing it that quickly", the president said from the White House.

"We have wiped out ISIS in Iraq", Trump said. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. He told CBS' "Face the Nation" that "the bottom line here is we want to make sure we get this right, that ISIS doesn't come back".

The Latest developments from U.S.

Plans and assurances offered by Bolton in Israel were additional confirmation that withdrawal plans were on hold until conditions on the ground matched the President's stated assessment of the situation in Syria. "Secondly, the president chose to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the embassy to Jerusalem-a historic decision which we welcome".

"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.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said they "do not comment on special forces". Still, some 200 USA troops will remain in the vicinity of al-Tanf, in southern Syria, to counter growing Iranian activity in the region, he said.

They said the soldiers were injured by an anti-tank missile being fired at Syrian Democratic Forces. Mr Trump also said last month that IS had been "defeated".

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