Published: Thu, January 03, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

U.S. troops to leave Syria but YPG support to continue

U.S. troops to leave Syria but YPG support to continue

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he came out of a lunch with Trump feeling reassured about the Syria policy. Pompeo allayed Netanyahu's concerns about Trump's pullout from Syria, which is a source of concern for Israel, which is anxious about growing Iranian influence in Syria. Shanahan, who spoke before Trump's comments on the military, limited his remarks to the Pentagon's cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security on border issues.

In Syria, about 2,000 U.S. soldiers operate alongside other foreign troops to assist local fighters battling Islamic State, a jihadist group that once held territory across much of Iraq and Syria and set up its own ultra-Islamist government.

Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, will be traveling to Israel and Turkey in early January to discuss what the White House says is the "deliberate and coordinated" withdrawal of US forces from Syria.

When he announced he was pulling troops from Syria, Trump said the withdrawal would be rapid. "If I stayed in Endless Wars forever, they would still be unhappy!"

Meanwhile, a senior Israeli source said after the meeting that Israel got "almost everything it asked for" when Pompeo granted "seven out of eight" requests made Netanyahu during their meeting.

'I think the president is committed to making sure when we leave Syria that ISIS is completely defeated, ' Graham said.

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President Donald Trump's surprise announcement last month of a swift United States withdrawal has left Kurdish fighters exposed to a planned military operation against them by Turkey.

The US has at least 2,000 troops stationed in the region, where it has also waged an aerial campaign in support of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.

However, he did not provide a timetable for the planned military exit from Syria, which he announced last month following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was about to give a green light to a military operation to the terrorist in Syria.

In response to the uproar, Trump national security advisor John Bolton will soon visit allies Turkey and Israel, which each have their own complex goals in Syria's multi-dimensional civil war.

Defense Secretary James Mattis unexpectedly resigned after the announcement, and Brett McGurk, the US's top envoy in the fight against ISIL, announced he would be leaving his post earlier than expected due to the decision.

He said: "I shouldn't be popular in Europe". Trump went out of his way to explain his continuing commitment to the Kurds. "That's what we're talking about", Trump said during a cabinet meeting. "I'm not happy about it at all", he said.

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