Trump Warns Turkey Against Hitting Syrian Kurds

Turkish US foreign ministers discuss Syria on phone

At the same time, Trump urged the Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the U.S. trained and armed for years, not to "provoke" Turkey.

US-led operations against IS in Syria have been spearheaded on the ground by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

President Donald Trump is warning Turkey it would face economic devastation if it strikes at the Kurds when US forces pull out of Syria.

The US withdrawal has begun with shipments of military equipment, according to US defence officials. "Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms", the President tweeted on Sunday.

The troops in Syria have been supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces fight ISIS, but with the militant group all but defeated, the United States president made the surprise announcement of a total U.S. withdrawal on December 19.

Once the troops are gone, the US will have ended three years of organizing, arming, advising and providing air cover for Syrian, Kurdish and Arab fighters in an open-ended campaign devised by the Obama administration to deal ISIS a lasting defeat.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. But Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to crush the Kurdish groups that have been effective in defeating IS in Syria.

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But, he added, "we also know that those fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well".

Trump announced on his Twitter page that U.S. troops in Syria are starting their pullout "while hitting the little remaining ISIS [Daesh*]' terrorists 'from many directions", adding that United States "will attack again from existing nearby base if it [Daesh terrorist group] reforms".

Trump also appeared to propose a 20 mile safe zone on the Turkey-Syria border so as to prevent clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.

Cavusoglu said Washington made a decision to withdraw its troops from Syria after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's firm stance against removing threat coming to Turkey from east of the Euphrates River in Syria. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed Sunday that Israel had struck hundreds of Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria over the weekend, including a weapons facility, as the Israeli Defense Forces announced the discovery of a sixth and final tunnel dug by the Lebanese militant group for cross-border attacks.

The move came after Trump declared that the "Islamic State" terrorist group had been defeated in Syria.

Sousan said intensified dialog was important when set against challenges, "especially the expansionist ambitions that lead the policies of the Turkish regime".

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