Turkey: Pointless for France to Remain in Syria to Protect YPG

Putin Welcomes Trump's Syria Withdrawal: 'Donald's Right'

Putin Welcomes Trump's Syria Withdrawal: 'Donald's Right'

Perhaps the most telling aspect of US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and the subsequent resignation of his defence secretary - retired Marine general Jim Mattis - is the apoplexy it has occasioned among the Western commentariat across the political spectrum.

The U.S. -led coalition in Syria continued to conduct air strikes against the ISIS terrorist group, American officials said on December 25, about a week after President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of 2,000 U.S. forces from the war-torn country.

"The battle will soon start", Major Youssef Hamoud, spokesman for the National Army, the main Turkish-backed Syrian opposition force near Manbij, told Reuters.

"We are transitioning primary responsibility for the defeat of the few remaining ISIS remnants in Syria to our allies and partners on the ground inside Syria", a USA administration official told VOA Friday, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. "It would have been helpful at the beginning if he had said, 'Look, we're getting out of Syria because we have plenty of resources in Iraq to deal with the ISIS problem".

Kalin said there would be further talks between the two countries' foreign ministries and other departments including a meeting planned in Washington on Jan 8.

He added that Turkey would also increase coordination with Russian Federation in Syria as Erdogan is to discuss the situation with President Vladimir Putin.

He added: "Turkey will show the same determination against Daesh".

Syrian Turkmen Assembly, representatives of Turkmen minority in Syria, said on Wednesday they fully support Turkey's military operation against the PKK/YPG terrorists in northern Syria.

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdish PKK movement which has been waging a 34-year-long insurgency in southeastern Turkey.

Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies, said that the distance between the last ISIS pockets and the Turkish border posed a "real problem" of logistics. "Obviously, that should be the Syrian government, in accordance with worldwide law", Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova said, reported the state-run Sputnik news agency.

Manbij is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), seen as a "terrorist" group by Turkey.

American support for the YPG, under the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, has always been a source of tension between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, the USA and Turkey.

Turkey said earlier this month that it would launch a new military operation in the area.

Moscow will also host a meeting of the Astana guarantors - Turkey, Iran, and Russian Federation - in the near future. The Nato allies reached an agreement in June for the YPG to leave but Turkey says its implementation has been delayed.

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