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Donald Trump threatens to ‘devastate’ Turkey if Kurds are attacked
14 January 2019, 07:12 | Darnell Patrick
Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Syria war On the frontline with US troops fighting IS
The Kurds have sought Russian meditation for the talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government, part of their strategy to fill a vacuum that will be left when U.S. forces withdraw from the country, as instructed by President Donald Trump.
However, Bolton later said that the U.S.' withdrawal would be subject to defeating Daesh remnants, and Turkey assuring the safety of fighters allied with the USA, i.e. the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the YPG. Ankara views the Kurdish militia that forms the backbone of the SDF as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, an outlawed group listed as a terrorist organisation by both Turkey and the US.
He also acknowledged some things still need to be worked out between Turkey and Kurdish forces, but remains confident of a positive outcome.
The president said the United States has started what he called the "long, overdue pullout" from Syria while going after IS militants in the remaining territory they hold.
Speaking in the United Arab Emirates, Mr Pompeo said he thought it would be possible to reach an agreement which would allow the Turks to defend themselves from terror threats while protecting Kurds - who have been fighting alongside USA troops - against the so-called Islamic State group.
Trump did not detail who would create, enforce or pay for the safe zone, or where it would be located.
Mr Trump's comments on Sunday followed further criticism of his abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria. "Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms", the President tweeted on Sunday.
"Russia, Iran, and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long-term USA policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies", he tweeted.
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A USA defense official told Fox News on Friday that the US -led military coalition in Syria started the process of removing troops from the region, but wouldn't confirm further details for security purposes.
"We also know that those who aren't terrorists, those who were fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", Pompeo said.
US President Donald Trump stated on Twitter that the United States have defeated the IS forces in Syria, which is the only reason for the US troops being there.
Abdel Rahman said about 16,000 people, including 760 IS fighters, have fled the area since the start of December, though this marked the first time the SDF and the coalition provided buses, suggesting a deal was struck between the warring sides.
The monitor said some 300 SDF combatants had deployed near the village of Sousa in preparations for a final assault.
Around 2,000 civilians remain trapped in the area around the town of Hajin.
The US-led coalition on Saturday fired more than 20 missiles against militant positions, the Observatory said.
Led coalition has started Syria withdrawal
A Defense Department spokesperson later said that while equipment was being moved out of Syria, troops were not withdrawing. Turkish forces have been deploying for weeks along the Syrian border. "Our preparations are continuing intensively".
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