USA and Turkish presidents discuss safe zone in northern Syria

USA and Turkish presidents discuss safe zone in northern Syria

It is a rare and pointed threat from the leader of the Free World.

"Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions".

"Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms".

On Sunday, Mr Trump tweeted: "Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds".

It is the latest development following Trump's announcement that United States troops will be getting out of Syria. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home.

"We have reached an agreement of understanding that is of historic importance", he said.

And that's where diplomacy became quite dicey.

Ankara considers the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and its political wing - the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) - to be "terrorist groups" with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.

Turkey's response, submitted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and to the State Department in Washington D.C. on January 14, is a presentation of Turkey's well-known views on this issue which have been conveyed to the U.S. officials several times, according to the diplomat.

Erdogan went on the offensive after Bolton's remarks.

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Why is Turkey fighting the Kurds anyway?

Speaking to the reporters following a Cabinet meeting in Ankara, Ibrahim Kalin said, "Fight against terrorism and terror groups targeting Turkey will continue in every area".

But Turkey has repeatedly warned the separate Kurdish people living in the region from terrorists and said it would only strike militants that threatened its security.

Pompeo is on record portraying the drawback of troops as "a tactical change" while assuring that the administration is focused on facing down ISIS and keeping Iran under a modicum of peaceful control.

Meanwhile, the political rift between the US and Turkey after Trump's threatening tweets seemed to ease and heal following a phone call with Erdoğan.

There are adults in the room after all.

Several members of the Trump administration called on the US president to halt the withdrawal, demanding Washington to protect "Kurds" from Turkey. "Stop the ENDLESS WARS!"

However, the U.S. president tweeted on Monday night that he had spoken to Mr Erdogan to "advise where we stand" on the safe zone and efforts to eliminate the remnants of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria with the help of fighters from the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces alliance.

It is a positive step for the two leaders - unless that invitation is now off the table. White House officials say Trump accepted his offer with no known date in 2019 yet scheduled.

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