Trump threatens to devastate Turkey's economy if it attacks Kurds

30 2018 shows a convoy of US military vehicles driving through Syria's northern city of Manbij | AFP

30 2018 shows a convoy of US military vehicles driving through Syria's northern city of Manbij | AFP

Earlier this week Pompeo told reporters in Iraq that U.S. President Donald Trump is determined to withdraw American soldiers from Syria and his decision is very clear, addressing concerns as to whether Turkey's refusal to fulfill any preconditions to the withdrawal would put the move at risk.

Seeking to quell concern about the USA troop withdrawal from Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday described the American exit as a "tactical change" in military strategy that wouldn't deter efforts to defeat ISIS or hurt US interests in the region.

It considers the YPG and its political wing, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.

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".

Erdogan, who has welcomed the pullout plan, last week accused Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, of a "grave mistake" in demanding that Ankara provide assurances on the safety of the Kurdish fighters before Washington withdraws its troops.

The president also called for the creation of a 20-mile (30-kilometer) safe zone in Syria and said he did not want US-allied Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to seek any confrontation with Ankara.

Mr Trump gave no details as to who would create, enforce or pay for this safe zone.

More news: Cops check on women staying at R. Kelly's home after anonymous tip
More news: Tennis pros react to Andy Murray's heartbreaking announcement
More news: Woman Suffers Rare Medical Condition Rendering her Unable to Hear Men's Voices

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of militias led by the Kurdish YPG, have driven Islamic State from a swathe of northern and eastern Syria with the help of the US -led coalition over the last four years. "Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms", the President tweeted on Sunday. "We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home".

Mr Trump's comments on Sunday followed further criticism of his abrupt decision to withdraw United States forces from Syria.

"Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" he added.

Rami Abdel Rahman from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said several dozen jihadist fighters were among those evacuated to areas held by the Kurdish-Arab alliance.

The United Nations said last Friday that overall, some 25,000 people had fled the violence over the last six months as the die-hard extremists battled to defend their dwindling bastions.

Mr Trump also said that Russia, Iran and Syria had been the biggest beneficiaries of USA action in Syria and it was time to bring American soldiers home.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition said on Sunday the SDF were making "great progress. but the fight continues".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.