Trump says discussed 'highly coordinated' Syria pullout with Erdogan
United States President Donald Trump said he discussed Syria and "the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area" in a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday.
Trump tweeted that the two leaders had "a long and productive call", and also discussed the Islamic State group (IS) and "heavily expanded trade".
Read the details here.
We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria: Trump
I just had a long and productive call with President @RT_Erdogan of Turkey. We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, the slow highly coordinated pullout of U.S. troops from the area. After many years they are coming home. We also discussed heavily expanded Trade.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2018
Turkey praised Trump's decision to withdraw troops
Donald Trump shocked US allies on Friday when he announced plans to pull the 2,000 US troops out of Syria, where they have been helping coordinate a multinational fight against IS (The Islamic State).
But the move was lauded by Turkey.
The decision followed an earlier Trump phone call with the Turkish President, who has been pressing for a US withdrawal.
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American pullout will allow 'Turkey to start operations against Kurds'
An American pullout would allow Turkish troops to move against the hardened Kurdish fighters in Syria, deemed terrorists by the Ankara regime, but who have strongly supported US efforts there.
"A US withdrawal," said Mutlu Civiroglu, a Kurdish affairs analyst, "will open the way for Turkey to start its operations against the Kurds, and a bloody war will begin".
Trump's sudden decision sparked turmoil in his administration
Trump's sudden decision sparked turmoil in his administration, prompting the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, as well as of Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the anti-IS coalition.
Several US-politicians of both parties rejected Trump's claims that the jihadist forces of IS had been defeated, and many in US military expressed alarm and dismay at the thought of suddenly abandoning their Kurdish allies.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
United States President Donald Trump