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Turkey says it's coordinating entry into Syria with U.S.

26 December 2018

"We will see what President Donald Trump's declared decision to pull out of Syria comes to", he added.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Ankara and Washington agreed to complete withdrawal of the YPG forces from Manbij before U.S. pulls out of Syria.

The Turkish military convoy with howitzers, artillery batteries and several units of the armed forces, was deployed to the border district of Elbeyli in Kilis province, state news agency Anadolu reported on Monday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent more troops to Syria's border on Monday ahead of an imminent USA withdrawal, as the White House announced he had invited Donald Trump to Ankara.

Despite the group's declaration, there has not yet been official confirmation of a larger Turkish offensive.

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Sunday's "long and productive" phone conversation between the two leaders tackled the withdrawal of USA troops from Syria.

Still, the withdrawal of the some 2,000 U.S. troops now stationed in Syria will be "slow & highly coordinated", Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Erdogan and Trump agreed in a phone call on Sunday to establish military and diplomatic coordination to prevent a power vacuum from developing as the United States withdraws. His comments came amid reports that Turkey-backed Syrian rebels are getting ready to begin a military operation in and near the northern town of Manbij that is controlled by Kurdish-led fighters.

Hammoud said there is "no alternative" to Turkish forces and their allies replacing U.S troops.

"If France is staying to contribute to Syria's future, great, but if they are doing this to protect the [militia], this will bring no benefit to anyone", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, according to Hurriyet daily.

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In a Twitter posting on Monday, Trump said Erdogan vowed to continue the fight against ISIS.

Meanwhile, Kalin also claimed that US President Donald Trump chose to withdraw American troops from Syria after Erdogan told him "loud and clear" that Washington and Ankara don't need the help of Kurdish YPG/SDF forces to fight Daesh*.

Turkey views the YPG militia as a sister "terrorist" organisation of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984. Currently Turkey's military is reportedly mustering forces and tanks along deployment points at the Syrian border.

In the past two years, Turkey has conducted two offensives into northern Syria, dubbed "Euphrates Shield" and "Olive Branch". Russia, alongside Iran, has propped up Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey has backed various rebel groups.

Erdogan welcomed Trump's abrupt decision last week to withdraw American troops from Syria, which has upended U.S. policy in the region and would remove a source of friction between the two countries.

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Trump has, of course, been tweeting about the withdrawal of 2,000 troops which has left his military advisers and allies around the world baffled, and prompted the departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Turkey says it's coordinating entry into Syria with U.S.