FM Çavuşoğlu holds phone call with United States counterpart Pompeo over Syria

Lamar Ellis
January 14, 2019

He proposed creating a 20-mile safe zone to protect the Kurds.

A US defense official told Fox News on Friday that the USA -led military coalition in Syria started the process of removing troops from the region, but wouldn't confirm further details for security purposes.

Trump's impulsive decision to withdraw troops from Syria was announced on December 19 a year ago, after declaring the Islamic State (ISIS) to have been fully "destroyed", created a rift between him and the USA military.

Senior U.S. officials and lawmakers have called on Trump to not abandon the PYD/YPG as he pulls out of Syria.

Asked about SDF progress, the spokesman for the US -led coalition, Colonel Sean Ryan, said: "The SDF is making great progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS (Islamic State), but the fight continues".

"Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies", he wrote online.

"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.

"Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" he added.

"The withdrawal is based on operational conditions on the ground, including conversation with our allies and partners, and is not be subject to an arbitrary timeline", he said.

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"Turkey expects the USA to honour our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda".

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The U.S. decision has injected new uncertainty into the eight-year-old Syrian war and spurred a flurry of contacts over how the security vacuum will be filled in the swathe of northern and eastern Syria where the U.S. forces are now stationed.

"We will confirm that there has been no redeployment of military personnel from Syria to date", said Navy Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman.

Turkey, however, regards the People's Protection Units (YPG) as terrorists.

Turkey has criticized the USA working with the terrorist PKK/PYD to fight Daesh, saying that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

Maria Zakharova, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said it was important for Syrian Kurds and the Syrian government to start talking to each other in light of the USA withdrawal plans.

The United Nations said last Friday that overall, some 25,000 people had fled the violence over the last six months as the die-hard extremists battled to defend their dwindling bastions.

An estimated 2,000 civilians remain trapped in the area around the town of Hajin, the United Nations said.

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