January 06, 2019
- President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to announce a US pull-out from Syria left open many questions
- Chiefly whether Kurds fighters operating in northern Syria would now be targetted by their long-time enemy Turkey
US National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks in Washington, DC, on December 13, 2018. (File/AFP)
JERUSALEM – White House national security adviser John Bolton added a new condition on Sunday to the US withdrawal from Syria, saying Turkey must agree to protect the United States’ Kurdish allies.
President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to announce a US pull-out from Syria left open many questions, chiefly whether Kurds fighters operating in northern Syria would now be targetted by their long-time enemy Turkey.
Bolton, on a four-day trip to Israel and Turkey, said he would stress in talks with Turkish officials, including President Tayyip Erdogan, that the Kurds must be safeguarded.
“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 told reporters ahead of talks with Israeli officials.
Bolton, who will travel to Turkey on Monday, said the United States will talk to Turkey to find out what its objectives and capabilities were.
But Bolton said Trump’s position is Turkey may not kill the Kurds and that the US withdrawal would not take place without an agreement on that.
US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said during his visit to Israel Sunday that the American withdrawal from Syria must be done with the defence of allies “assured”.
“We’re going to be discussing the president’s decision to withdraw, but to do so from northeast Syria in a way that makes sure that ISIS is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again,” John Bolton said when meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
“And to make sure that the defence of Israel and our other friends in the region is absolutely assured, and to take care of those who have fought with us against ISIS and other terrorist groups.”