Mattis, McGurk exits leave Syria in "state of uncertainty"

Mattis, McGurk exits leave Syria in

Mattis, McGurk exits leave Syria in "state of uncertainty"

Meanwhile, a delegation of the SDF arrived in Moscow on Monday for talks.

The official, speaking to reporters during a background briefing, also would not say whether any troops were actually on the way back to the USA, or provide any details on the timetable for their return.

Ankara considers the USA -backed YPG militia a terrorist organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency in Turkey since the 1980s. In that campaign, Turkey took over Jarablus as well as areas surrounding it. Jarablus is some 30 kilometers (19 miles) away from Manbij.

In June, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies reached an agreement that would see the YPG ousted from Manbij but Turkey has complained the roadmap has been delayed.

"We've won against [Daesh]", Trump said in a short video posted on Twitter.

US President Donald Trump's surprise decision to withdraw forces from Syria on Wednesday has created shock among members of the US Congress, including Republicans, as well as among Washington's Western allies.

On Monday, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency and the SOHR reported that Turkey-backed Syrian forces had moved closer to Manbij, equipped with heavy weapons and armoured vehicles.

This picture shows a Turkish military convoy in Kilis at the Syria border on December 22, 2018. The United States and Turkey back differing antigovernment fighters. "We are taking necessary measures to defend ourselves if we are attacked", he said without elaborating. The two men also discussed expanded trade, Trump said.

Erdogan also pledged to postpone a planned military operation against the Kurdish fighters in Syria.

The pullout in Syria was announced at a time when Kurds were engaged in a major offensive, said Rogers, and once that was complete, it would have added to more stability in syria.

Allies around the world have been stunned by Mattis' departure, having seen the former general as a reliable supporter of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other long-standing partnerships.

Plans for the troop pullout will now be overseen by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, who Mr Trump announced on Sunday would replace Mr Mattis starting January 1.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the European Union - has been responsible for the deaths of almost 40,000 people, including women and children.

The next day, Trump said Russia, Iran and Syria were unhappy about the USA move "because now they will have to fight ISIS and others".

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