Regional Players Prepare for Imminent US Pullout from Syria

U.S. Senator Graham speaks to reporters after attending a closed-door briefing on the Khashoggi death by CIA Director Haspel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw USA troops from Syria has triggered alarm among the largely Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

A spokesman for Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters said that his fighters would not accept the return of government forces to areas in eastern Syria, including Manbij town, after USA forces withdraw.

Turkey is reportedly trying to coordinate with the American government and Russian Federation its efforts to push the YPG, considered terrorists by Ankara, out of the territory it controls in northern Syria, which lies along the Turkish border, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared Tuesday.

A number of the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states have criticized Turkey for its planned purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russian Federation, stating that the move could jeopardize Ankara's acquisition of F-35 fighter jets.

Last week, Trump ordered the withdrawal of the 2,000 USA troops fighting ISIS in Syria.

Cavusoglu told Turkish media during a briefing that Ankara has "the power to neutralize [ISIS] alone" amid fears that a U.S. pull-out will hurt the fight against the militant group.

"Especially if he was going to say he has no plans to withdraw troops from Iraq, because those troops can be staged to deal with ISIS", regular host Dana Perino agreed.

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels say they have been mobilizing to launch the next offensive, with their first target the town of Manbij that borders the territory under their control. Cavusoglu hit out at French "support" of the YPG, which he said was "no secret" as he slammed French officials' meetings with leaders of the SDF's political wing last week.

"We will see what President Donald Trump's declared decision to pull out of Syria comes to", he added.

The shock move put allies on the backfoot, with Macron on Sunday saying: "An ally must be reliable".

American support for the YPG, under the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, has always been a source of tension between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, the USA and Turkey.

The head of the MMC, Mohammed Abu Adel, told the Kurdish-run Kurdistan24 news website that Syrian troops have been in Arima since a year ago but they have recently sent reinforcements as Russian soldiers arrived in the town. They also called for French support in assuring the region's peace and stability.

"We have defeated ISIS [Daesh] in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency."

Mr Trump's decision has emboldened Turkey to press ahead with plans to clear Manbij of Kurdish forces.

Russia closely coordinates its actions in Syria with Turkey, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

Mr Hammoud said one main aim of the Turkey-led operation to reclaim eastern Syria was to create the conditions and space for the return of refugees and displaced persons, who fled the Syrian government.

This week, the Iranians again tried to ignore the 50-mile range from the Israeli border and placed forces there, perhaps because they believed that the Russian army would not allow the IDF to operate in Syria - where Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles are deployed.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Major Storm Whipping Up Blizzard Conditions
In a special weather statement, Environment Canada said "a significant winter storm is expected Thursday night into Friday night". As of right now, it looks like we'll start off the new year with some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season thus far.

Guardiola: Man City face doubts about title challenge
It felt like the season was over at this stage last season. "Maybe we don't create many chances but sometimes it is not easy to create a lot with players coming back from injury.

Japan announces IWC withdrawal to resume commercial whaling
Last season, its scientific research expeditions caught almost 600 whales in the Antarctic and the northwest Pacific. Japan will leave the International Whaling Commission, which put a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s.

Donald Trump asks boy, 7, if he still believes in Santa
Santa does not want to rush the important job of delivering presents to children and spreading Christmas joy around the world. There's also a selection of "Santa Cam" videos , which document such things as his initial spotting at the North Pole.

Mourinho leaves Manchester United
Solskjaer will now take the helm until next summer, when the club will appoint a full-time successor. " Rojo you owe me £20k" according to the Sun .

US Supreme Court rejects Trump request to enforce asylum ban
How did the justices vote? New Justice Brett Kavanaugh and three other conservative justices sided with the administration. The administration had also complained that the nationwide order preventing the policy from taking effect was too broad.

Cardi B and Offset Reportedly Reunite in Puerto Rico Following Recent Split
A couple of weeks after announcing her split from Offset , Cardi B returned to Instagram Live with a very Cardi admission. The Quality Control couple was joined by friends prior to a headlining set from Cardi at the Electric Holiday Festival.

China calls US arrogant and selfish after hacking indictment
China has been accused of a global hacking campaign, targeting Australian and other western companies to steal their secrets. Of course, the two indicted Chinese nationals live in China, so there isn't much chance that they will be tried in the U.S.

Pep Guardiola bemoans Kyle Walker gifting Crystal Palace key penalty
Bournemouth won 2-0 at home to Brighton , and Newcastle's home game with Fulham ended 0-0. "We want Mesut like today", said Emery. Chelsea was another club that got upset, as a Jamie Vardy goal handed Leicester a momentum-producing 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 'aware of reports' about United States troop cuts in Afghanistan
Some analysts say the US troop withdrawal could also have a silver lining and could send a useful message to all sides. President Donald Trump considers the war in Afghanistan a lost cause and has long pushed to pull the troops out.

Police arrest fiancé of missing Colorado mother
Three days later, her boss at Doss Aviation received a text from her cellphone saying she wouldn't be at work the next week. Earlier in the investigation, police said Berreth's cellphone had pinged a tower in Idaho, roughly 600 miles away.

German news magazine Der Spiegel sacks journalist for fabricating stories
Claas Relotius paints pictures in the reader's mind that unfold like a film, ' said Franz Fischlin, chairman of the judging panel. According to Der Spiegel: "Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically and with criminal intent".

Women won't close disputed gender pay gap for over 200 years
The report , however, noted that Manila needs to improve in closing the gender gap in its health and survival category. The global gender gap is going to take over 100 years to close, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

United States envoy on North Korea visits border village amid stalemate
And as US President Donald Trump has made clear, the spokesman said, "Sanctions relief will follow denuclearization". North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to work towards denuclearisation at his landmark summit with U.S.

Partners of ex-Trump aide Flynn indicted over Gulen plot
Rafiekian founded the Flynn Intel Group with Flynn to offer advisory services based on Flynn's national security expertise. He said in a phone interview that he hired Flynn to help secure a deal with Ratio Energy, an Israeli energy company.

Other news