Published: Thu, January 10, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Erdogan threats against Kurds will not stop Syria withdrawal, Pompeo says

Erdogan threats against Kurds will not stop Syria withdrawal, Pompeo says

Editor's note: This story and its headline have been corrected.

The killing led the U.S. Senate to vote to suspend U.S. support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, as well as condemn Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the act.

The talks focused on "the security situation in Syria", the readout said, and "the deliberate, coordinated effort to withdraw us ground forces from Syria". Halbusi discussed USA efforts to help Iraq "with reconstruction and investment". "Turkish cooperation on counterterrorism efforts to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS".

But the muddled pronouncements from the Trump administration, which swiftly walked back the planned withdrawal of troops from Syria, has triggered regional concern. Turkey has demanded that the observation posts be removed. They have also paved the way for the formation of a constitutional committee.

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His comments come one day after Mr Erdogan lambasted the USA for suggesting that Ankara needed to guarantee the safety of Kurdish groups in Syria before Washington would withdraw its forces. Erdogan refused to meet Bolton and called the national security advisor's comments a "serious mistake".

Another sign of his outsider status - he was caught by surprise when Trump announced he was withdrawing US troops from Syria and - after a critical worldwide response - pushed the president to delay the process for as long as possible. Erdogan is most unlikely to attack the Kurds as long as we're present, and the cost of maintaining 2,000 troops in Syria isn't high.

Pompeo blamed the previous administration's approach to the Mideast for the ills that consume it now, particularly the rise of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and Iran's increasing assertiveness, which he said was a direct result of sanctions relief, since rescinded by the Trump administration, granted to it under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu charged Wednesday that the dispute with Turkey stems from confusion within the Trump administration on the terms and timing of the US withdrawal. Launched in August 2016, TSK backed-FSA captured bordering Jarablus, al-Rai and al-Bab districts from the Daesh terrorist group in Operation Euphrates Shield, while they also cleared the Afrin district from the YPG in Operation Olive Branch launched in January 2018.

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Cavusoglu said Turkey would go ahead with its incursion plan. Either we will never withdraw from "northeastern Syria", or we will stand by and watch our anti-ISIS allies get massacred as Turkey reneges on any security pledge they make.

The announcement, which shocked US allies and members of Trump's own administration, stemmed from a phone call with Erdogan where the Turkish leader convinced the president to withdraw and said Turkey would take over the fight against ISIS. Trump initially said it would be immediate, which alarmed his advisors and drove Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis to resign.

However, the snap decision to leave Syria, which Trump announced in December, has been widely criticised, with some accusing the White House of abandoning Washington's Kurdish allies in Syria, who have been credited with leading the fight against IS in the war-torn country.

One Cairo-based foreign diplomat informed on the highlights of Bolton's talks in the Middle East this week said that the U.S. national security adviser had assured his interlocutors that the United States would neither risk the stability of Syria nor allow for a situation that could endanger their interests.

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