Withdrawal from Syria begun


Either Turkey gave us some guarantees without a meeting, or the Kurds in Syria just found out how mercurial American support can be.

On a visit to Turkish troops stationed near the Syrian border Friday, Turkey's defence minister, Hulusi Akar, reiterated that Ankara is "determined" to fight Kurdish militias it considers terrorists and said military preparations were ongoing.

In his comments, Bolton had said that he, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held the understanding that Turkey had agreed "not to harm the Kurds who had fought with us against ISIS".

"We also know that those who aren't terrorists, those who were fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", Pompeo said. "We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those".

According to the statement, the Polish diplomat, for his part, said that the summit's agenda was not anti-Iranian and that Warsaw's stance on the issue was different from recent statements made by United States officials.

Worldwide players in the conflict have been in talks about the future of former US territory in Syria.

Zarif's deputy, Abbas Araqchi, also posted a photo of the Polish cemetery in Iran, stressing that Iran had welcomed the Polish refugees of WWII.

Bahrain, a key US ally in the Gulf, hosts the US Navy's Fifth Fleet with around 7,800 US military personnel deployed in the country, as well as a British naval base.

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"Out of concern for operational security, we will not discuss specific timelines, locations or troops movements", Ryan said in a statement to the AP.

The U.S.is reportedly beginning the process of withdrawing troops from Syria.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi as part of a regional tour, Pompeo also said the withdrawal of United States troops from Syria is a "tactical change" and does not alter USA military capacity to counter Daesh and Iran. "We will be like second-class citizens at best, if we survive as Syriac Christians and Kurds".

US forces have "begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria", Col. Sean Ryan, the spokesman for the USA -led coalition against the Islamic State said. He said many details around the troop withdrawal still need to be ironed out, but that he was optimistic a "good outcome" could be reached between Turkey and Kurdish groups in Syria.

He said that he believed US media outlets will react to the White House initiative for falling in line with efforts to cause instability in the Middle East.

Mr Pompeo said he believed a coming Iranian satellite launch was "another step in their understanding of how it is you can launch" an intercontinental ballistic missile.

He said the US envoy for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, had traveled to northeast Syria this week and would soon go to Ankara for talks, including on moving forward a UN-led political process to end the eight-year long conflict in Syria. Mr. Trump's abrupt decision in December to pull them, declaring in a tweet the defeat of ISIS, sent shockwaves across the region and led to the resignation of U.S. Defense Minister James Mattis and the top U.S. envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition. "They understand that there are squabbles in Washington, but their mission remains, their duties continue and they're executing them".

The tour includes Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait.