Turkey Syria offensive: Some US troops to stay, says Trump

The Sunday's attack has underlined how fragile the agreement is. — AFP  File

The Sunday's attack has underlined how fragile the agreement is. — AFP File

The Kurdish-led force was a key ally of the United States in the long and bloody fight that eventually brought down the Islamic State group's rule over northeast and eastern Syria.

The pullout largely abandons the Syrian Kurdish allies who have fought the Islamic State group alongside US troops for several years.

Ankara and the USA have agreed on a 20-miles (32-kilometers) safe zone south of the Turkish border in Syria, where Turkey wants to accommodate more than three million refugees it is now hosting.

"We presently have troops in a couple of cities that [are] located right near that area".

'The battle of Idlib is the basis for resolving chaos and terrorism in all other areas of Syria, ' he said.

On Twitter, Trump has repeatedly mentioned securing oil in Syria in recent days.

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Syrian President Bashar al Assad has described Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan of being a robber during a meeting with Syrian Arab Army personnel on frontlines of al Habit town in Idleb countryside, SANA reported. "Like it or not, it [the oil] is owned by the Syrian state".

News that the Trump administration is shifting American forces from Syria to Iraq rather than returning them to the US comes just two weeks after thePentagon ordered 1,800 troops to Saudi Arabia, a move critics said put the lie to the president's claim that he is attempting to end perpetual wars. Trump has repeatedly said the Islamic State has been defeated and has portrayed the withdrawal of American support for Kurdish forces as part of his larger goal of bringing troops home from the Middle East.

President Donald Trump delivered a blistering and rambling monologue to the journalists he allowed into his Cabinet meeting for more than 70 minutes on Monday. He said that there have been skirmishes, but only a few.

He said the Kurdish fighters were leaving the safe zone, "not expeditiously, but rather intelligently". "It is our primary duty to neutralize them whenever and wherever we see them", he said. "But I don't want to do that".

The U.S. has angered the Kurds by pulling its forces out of Syria, opening the door for Turkey's offensive against Kurdish fighters there.

"We will take up this process with Mr Putin and after that we will take the necessary steps" in north-eastern Syria, Mr Erdogan told a forum in Istanbul hosted by broadcaster TRT World yesterday.

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The residents are shouting "No America" and "America liar" in English. Several hundred will remain in southern Syria at the Al-Tanf outpost. One man blocked the path of a USA van with a poster reading: "Thanks for USA people, but Trump betrayed us".

A Reuters cameraman saw over 100 vehicles crossing.

The US military is "providing options and contingency plans to give (President Donald Trump) options", the official said, although orders "have not been given yet".

An Iraqi official said his government has told the Americans that they will allow the US forces to pass through, but not to stay.

In another part of the country he said United States forces were needed to "secure the oil". From there, they will conduct operations to prevent the Islamic State's resurgence, Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters on Sunday.

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