Led coalition strikes ISIS targets in Syria

Led coalition strikes ISIS targets in Syria

Led coalition strikes ISIS targets in Syria

Youssef Hammoud, spokesman for Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups, said they have up to 15,000 trained fighters ready to deploy alongside Turkish forces, and they are already preparing to move into Manbij - a Kurdish-administered town in northern Syria where US troops are based. The American president has repeatedly vowed to bring American troops back home from the region. McGurk made a decision to speed up his original plan to leave his post in mid-February.

Turkey began reinforcing its positions on both sides of its border with Syria on Sunday, a Reuters witness said, as Ankara and Washington agreed to coordinate a USA withdrawal from Syria. Sasse says Trump is risking the same outcome: "A lot of American allies will be slaughtered if this retreat is implemented". He noted McGurk planned to leave soon anyway and added: "Grandstander?"

The departures of Mattis and now McGurk follow those of national security adviser H.R. McMaster and White House chief of staff John Kelly - leaving Trump, who has no political, diplomatic or military experience, increasingly alone.

Shortly after news of McGurk's resignation broke, Trump again defended his decision to pull all of the roughly 2,000 USA forces from Syria in the coming weeks.

"Everybody knows Turkey has never been anxious about IS activity along its borders for years", a Syrian Kurdish military source told Kurdistan 24 on the condition of anonymity, but they have "clearly stated that they would bury the Kurds [in Syria] in trenches".

"When I became President, ISIS was going wild", the president tweeted. "Clearly the Russians are delighted that we are giving them all of Syria, that we are giving up our Kurdish allies and not only to Russia, the Iranians will fill the vacuum".

Although the civil war in Syria has gone on since 2011, the USA did not begin launching airstrikes against IS until September 2014, and American troops did not go into Syria until 2015.


His defence secretary, Jim Mattis, opposed the decision and abruptly announced on Thursday he was resigning after meeting with the president.

But contrary to Trump's claim, they have not been eliminated and some analysts and officials, including in Washington, see the U.S. pullout as abandoning the fight against IS as victory nears. The decision also caused alarm and dismay in the USA military over the prospect of suddenly abandoning Washington's Kurdish partners. Apparently angry at his letter of resignation, Trump asked him to leave at the end of December and appointed his deputy as acting defense secretary.

The invitation comes days after Trump made the contested decision to withdraw American troops from Syria, where they have been deployed to assist in the global military campaign against the Islamic State terror group. Turkey said the two countries will ensure there is no "authority vacuum" once the USA troops leave.

Ahmed, the senior Syrian Kurdish official, had just returned from a trip to France in which she called on Paris to play a larger role in Syria following the USA withdrawal.

"The other day somebody called me and said 'Are you guys serious?" Turkey has criticized the US for helping the Kurds shore up control of this region and has indicated it could invade as soon as USA forces are out.

He also stressed the importance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters credited with playing a major role in the virtual elimination of IS after it overran large swathes of Syria four years ago.

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