US changes Syria withdrawal plan, seeks safety of allies Kurds first
Jerusalem, Jan 7: In what could be a decision upsetting countries like Russia and its ally Bashar al-Assad more, the US has altered its plans of pulling its troops out of Syria saying it will do so only if Turkey assured that it will not attack Washington's Kurdish allies there, President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser (NSA) John Bolton told the media here on Sunday, January 6, as per reports.
The hawkish Bolton is on a four-day visit to Israel and Turkey.
Washington announced last month that the US would withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria, which is witnessing a bloody civil war for almost eight years now, for it felt the Islamic State (IS) has been defeated. The sudden decision left several quarters, including the US's allies stunned. Trump invited the wrath of many over his decision.
"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they don't endanger our troops -- but also so that they meet the President's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered," Bolton was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Turkey was considered the biggest gainer from the US's announcement for though it also against Syrian dictator Assad, the Kurds who were fighting with the US's support against the IS in the region, are being considered detrimental by Turkey and Ankara has been fighting a four-decade long conflict with the Kurds.