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Bolton sets out conditions for US Syria withdrawal

08 January 2019

It's also very important that as we discuss with members of the coalition, [and] other countries that have an interest, like Israel and Turkey, that we expect that those who have fought with us in Syria. particularly the Kurds [not be put in] jeopardy.

"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States", Bolton said.

Regarding the PKK's Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG), Erdoğan said that Turkey has no problems with Kurds, but rather with terrorists like the YPG.

Turkey has been hoping for a quick withdrawal of USA troops from Syria because an offensive against the YPG could help Erdogan consolidate nationalist voters' support for his ruling AK Party in local elections in March.

Bolton's comments were the first public confirmation that the drawdown has been slowed.

Emile Hokayem, Senior Research Fellow for Middle East Security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said Isil would be emboldened by news of an American withdrawal, describing President Trump's new Syria policy as "messy".

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A Syrian Kurdish official says Syria's Kurds are awaiting clarifications from the U.S. over America's withdrawal plans following comments made by a top White House aide that appeared to contradict earlier comments by President Donald Trump.

The move prompted the resignations of U.S. defence secretary Jim Mattis and top United States official Brett McGurk, as analysts and military experts said the threat posed by IS still remains.

The withdrawal from Syria looks less imminent and more aspirational with every frequent-flier mile John Bolton picks up. Israel captured the heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed them in 1981.

"There is no doubt that a terror group can not be an ally of the US", Kalin said, according to the news agency.

Bolton said the US has asked the Kurds to "stand fast now" and refrain from seeking protection from Russian Federation or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Trump, who had earlier declared the battle won against the militants and refused military entreaties for more time, said on Sunday that he remained committed to the withdrawal but told reporters: "I never said we're doing it that quickly". Jeffrey will travel from Turkey into Syria to reassure the Kurdish fighters that they are not being abandoned, Bolton said.

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In Israel on Sunday, Bolton said USA troops will stay in the northeast Syria until Turkey agrees not go after the Kurdish forces.

During Israel's weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning, Netanyahu referred to Bolton as his "old friend".

President Donald Trump made the right call to withdraw USA troops from Syria, Erdoğan said. Trump wants to pull 2,000 USA troops out of Syria, where Iran and Hezbollah have propped up Assad during Syria's seven-year civil war, which is winding down.

The US recognized al-Quds as Israel's "capital" in late 2017, and relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city last May in direct violation of the Palestinians' concerns regarding the city's status.

The holy site, which is also one of the country's major tourist attraction, is controversial and foreign officials generally avoid meeting in the area.

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Bolton sets out conditions for US Syria withdrawal