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Daily Trends Now


Backed Syrian force: Islamic State in its 'final moments'

Backed Syrian force: Islamic State in its 'final moments'

An official from the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of militias led by the YPG, said on Sunday Islamic State militants were "living their final moments" in the last enclave they hold near the Iraqi border.

Kalin said that it was "a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK", saying that Turkey fought against terrorists not Syrian Kurds.

U.S. secretary of state, who is on a whirlwind regional tour, also sought to reassure Washington's Kurdish allies, who fear the pullout would allow Turkey to attack them.

Last week, National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US withdrawal would be based on conditions on the ground and would include safeguards for the SDF.

"We will continue to fight against them all".

Erdogan rebuffed a proposed meeting with Bolton in Ankara on January 8, then took to live television instead to insult him for a lack of perspective.

Once the troops are gone, the USA will have ended three years of organizing, arming, advising and providing air cover for Syrian, Kurdish and Arab fighters in an open-ended campaign devised by the Obama administration to deal the militants, also known as ISIS, a lasting defeat.

Mr Kalin wrote on Twitter: "Mr @realDonaldTrump It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the United States terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG". On Friday, the US-led coalition said it had started the pullout, but officials later said only equipment, not troops, were going.

It also provoked concerns about the safety of Kurdish forces who fought ISIS alongside the U.S.in Syria but are considered terrorists by Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is now touring the Middle East, responded to questions about Mr Trump's threat with: "You'll have to ask the president".




He also acknowledged some things still need to be worked out between Turkey and Kurdish forces, but remains confident of a positive outcome.

The troops are expected to be gone in a matter of weeks, ending three years of USA involvement in the war against ISIS in Syria.

Trump on Sunday warned via Twitter that the United States would "devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds" in the wake of the USA troop pullout from Syria.

Three senior Pentagon officials have resigned following Trump's decision to pull out from Syria.

Turkey has consistently attacked positions belonging to the YPG, most recently near the town of Kobani in northern Syria.

In a telephone conversation, the leaders "discussed the idea of creating a security zone cleared of terrorism in the north of the country", the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Fighters from the ISIS terrorist group are "living their final moments" in the last enclave they hold near the Iraqi border, as the USA -backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) has engaged those fighters, a spokesman for the SDF says. Officials also told The New York Times that Trump's national security advisor "does not want to hear opposing views... and wants to control everything that flows to the president".

But a US defense official has denied that it was withdrawing any troops from Syria, telling VOA the initial stages of the pull-out involve "equipment, not troops".

Pompeo told reporters that he spoke with Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, on Saturday.

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