Trump warns Turkey of economic devastation if it hits Kurds

Pompeo Says The U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Syria Is Just A 'Tactical Change'

Pompeo Says The U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Syria Is Just A 'Tactical Change'

Trump also threatened to "devastate Turkey economically" if the country hit the Kurds living in Syria.

A US-led coalition of over 70 member-nations has been conducting military operations against the Daesh terror group in Syria and Iraq.

The United States President announced on Twitter on Sunday that the U.S. had begun withdrawing its approximately 2000 troops from northeast Syria but said the USA would maintain forces in neighbouring Iraq. "Will attack [ISIS] again from existing nearby base if it reforms".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday sought to reassure Washington's Kurdish allies in the fight against ISIS, who fear the departure of American troops would allow Turkey to attack them.

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. "We will protect Kurds and other Syrians against all terrorist threats".

The pullout was reportedly sparked after a phone conversation between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

When Pompeo said earlier this month that the USA wants to ensure "the Turks don't slaughter the Kurds", Turkey denounced Pompeo, saying he exhibited "a worrying lack of information".

The president said the USA has started what he called the "long, overdue pullout" from Syria while going after IS militants in the remaining territory they hold.

"We have operated with impressive success in thwarting Iran from establishing a military foothold in Syria, in the framework of which the military has struck hundreds of times against Iranian and Hezbollah targets", Netanyahu said.

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

Turkey had reacted angrily to previous suggestions that Trump's plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the US-backed Kurdish fighters, who are seen by the Turkish government as terrorists.

Washington, however, considers the group as an effective force in the fight against IS.

Colonel Sean Ryan, the coalition spokesman, said: "The SDF is making great progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS (Islamic State), but the fight continues".

"It's an ambitious objective, but it is ours, and it is our mission", he added.

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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