Trump says U.S. will hurt Turkey economically if it hits Kurds

Wikimedia Turkish soldiers in training

Wikimedia Turkish soldiers in training

Bolton said last Sunday that the Trump administration would delay pulling American troops from Syria until Turkey assures the USA that Kurdish forces won't be touched.

The president announced the move in December, prompting concerns that Syrian Kurds, who had helped the U.S. fight Islamic State, would be left at the mercy of neighbouring Turkey, which views some of them as terrorists.

It considers the YPG and its political wing, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.

"Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds", Trump tweeted, while pushing for the creation of a 20-mile "safe zone".

The fight to eliminate the remaining pockets of ISIS has been shaken by US President Donald Trump's shock December announcement that he is withdrawing US troops from Syria.

Previously Washington said that it would not disclose a timeline for the withdrawal of its troops, and pledging that the US-led worldwide coalition's fight against terrorism would continue.

"Today, we discussed the latest developments and the steps that should be taken [in Syria]", Cavusoglu said on Saturday at an event in Turkey's southern Antalya province.

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

The president defended his decision to withdraw troops, saying any remaining IS fighters could be attacked from an unspecified "existing nearby base".

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Speaking in Abu Dhabi as part of a regional tour, Pompeo said the withdrawal of US troops from Syria was a "tactical change" but the mission to destroy Islamic State and counter Iran's influence remained the same.

Cavusoglu said Washington chose to withdraw its troops from Syria after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's firm stance against removing threat coming to Turkey from east of the Euphrates River in Syria.

Mr Trump's comments on Sunday followed further criticism of his abrupt decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.

"We also know that those fighting alongside us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", he added.

"Stop the ENDLESS WARS!" he added.

Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman said that several dozen militants were among those evacuated to areas held by the Kurdish-Arab alliance.

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

The monitor said some 300 SDF combatants had deployed near the village of Sousa in preparations for a final assault.

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