Friday, 22 November, 2019

Kurdish civilians throw potatoes, stones at USA military vehicles leaving Syria

Defense Secretary: American Troops Are Leaving Northern Syria And Heading to Western Iraq The clock is ticking on Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring - Turkish official
Travis Berry | 23 October, 2019, 02:58

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday, Oct. 20, said he is more optimistic about President Trump 's decision to remove USA troops from Syria.

Since the US began moving its forces out of the region, the long-time USA allies of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who for years helped the USA battle ISIS while also fending off attacks from Assad's forces, have formed limited partnerships with the Syrian leader's Russian-backed regime.

The American withdrawal has been criticized by US lawmakers, including some of Trump's fellow Republicans, as a betrayal of Kurdish allies who for years have helped the United States fight the Islamic State.

Speaking to reporters during a trip to Afghanistan, Mr Esper said that while the U.S. withdrawal was under way, some troops were still with partner forces near oilfields and there had been discussions about keeping some of them there.

Esper said on Monday that he had not made a final decision on that option and had not yet presented it to President Donald Trump. But he said those details will be worked out over time.

With the USA pulling out its troops, Kurdish commander Mazlum Kobani is predicting his people will be slaughtered.

Esper's earlier comments to reporters traveling with him were the first to specifically lay out where American troops will go as they shift from Syria and what the counter-IS fight could look like. According to some officials, Trump may say that the deployment of the small contingent is a reasonable way to ensure security in the region and in the United States, without breaking his promise.

The troops will have two missions in Iraq. "So we have a small group there, and we secured the oil".

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Critics at home and overseas called Trump's decision a "betrayal" of USA -allied Kurds, and many expressed concerns that the thousands of IS prisoners being held by the Kurdish militias would be able to flee during the fighting.

"Unbeknownst to the public, as part of our optimisation over the past year we have reduced our authorised strength by 2,000 here".

The U.S. now has more than 5,000 American forces in Iraq, under an agreement between the two countries.

However, the alliances the USA fought to secure in Syria - including to create some sort of stability amid the ongoing civil war and ever-present threat of an Islamic State group resurgence - appear to be fracturing.

Mr Pompeo continued: "You suggested the economic powers that we've used, we'll certainly use them".

"I always said if you're going in, keep the oil", Trump said, suggesting that the United States would "maybe get one of our big oil companies in to do it properly".

"If they don't withdraw, our operation will restart", Cavusoglu said, speaking in Istanbul.

Turkey says it wants to return Syrian refugees to the areas evacuated. The timeframe for the transfer to be completed was "weeks, not days", he added. The U.S. forces have been largely consolidated in one location in the west and a few locations in the east.

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