Bolton makes US troops with­drawal from Syria con­di­tional on IS down­fall, Kurds’ safety

The Daily News Egypt - - News - US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser John Bolton

The US troops will not leave north­east­ern Syria un­til the Is­lamic State (IS) mil­i­tants are com­pletely routed and the US-al­lied Kur­dish fight­ers are pro­tected, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­viser, John Bolton, said on Sun­day.

Bolton said there was no time­line for the troops’ with­drawal, which was ini­tially ex­pected to be com­pleted within weeks of Trump’s abrupt an­nounce­ment last month, AP re­ported.

“There are ob­jec­tives which we want to ac­com­plish that con­di­tion the with­drawal,” Bolton told re­porters in Jerusalem.

Talk­ing to re­porters in Wash­ing­ton, Trump reaf­firmed his com­mit­ment to­wards with­draw­ing the US troops, but added that he “never said we are do­ing it that quickly.”

Mak­ing the an­nounce­ment on De­cem­ber 19 in a video posted on Twit­ter, Trump said that IS had been de­feated and that “all” of the roughly 2,000 US troops in Syria will be “com­ing back now.”

Trump’s de­ci­sion was crit­i­cised by the US al­lies and led to the res­ig­na­tion of De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis. The an­nounce­ment also raised fears that Turkey would take ad­van­tage of the US with­drawal and at­tack the US-al­lied Syr­ian Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG), that Turkey con­sid­ers a ter­ror­ist group linked to do­mes­tic Kur­dish in­sur­gents.

Yet, Bolton said on Sun­day that the US would not with­draw from Syria, un­less Turkey gave as­sur­ances that it would not at­tack the YPG.

“We do not think the Turks ought to un­der­take any mil­i­tary ac­tion that is not fully co­or­di­nated with and agreed to by the United States,” Bolton said, adding that the US has asked the Kurds to “stand fast now”, and re­frain from seek­ing pro­tec­tion from Rus­sia or gov­ern­ment forces loyal to the Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar Al-As­sad.

Bolton, who is sched­uled to travel to Turkey from Is­rael, said he would stress the need to pro­tect the Kur­dish forces dur­ing talks with Turk­ish of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Re­cepTayyip Er­do­gan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Egypt

© PressReader. All rights reserved.