'We can't depend on you' Macron unloads on Trump over Syria withdrawal

Turkey says almost 300,000 Syrian refugees have gone home
Turkey reinforcing Syrian border after USA withdrawal - Entertainment News
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25 December, 2018

Trump said he coordinated with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who has been warning that he will attack US-allied Kurdish fighters who had seized ground from ISIS.

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.

Trump tweeted that he and Erdogan "discussed [IS], our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of US troops from the area".

The Trump-Erdogan agreement provides an opening, if a fragile and uncertain one, to work out an arrangement between the PYD and the Syrian government that will be acceptable to Ankara - the only realistic endgame for stability in northeastern Syria and, ultimately, the best check on the return of the Islamic State.

McGurk, who was slated to leave his post in February 2019, objected to Trump's decision to withdraw USA troops from Syria, a person familiar with the matter said, and added that Mattis' departure had a "significant impact" on McGurk's resignation.

The two leaders reportedly agree to coordinate to prevent an authority vacuum from developing as the withdrawal process begins.

Almost 300,000 Syrian refugees have returned home since two Turkish military operations in the war-ravaged nation, the Turkish interior minister said Saturday after Ankara warned yet another offensive was being planned.

Erdogan said, "I hope that our meeting will be beneficial for our countries and our region".

Turkey, with support from the FSA, carried out two cross-border operations in northern Syria, dubbed "Euphrates Shield" and "Olive Branch", against the YPG and IS.

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He also said that the offensive would not begin until USA troops withdraw from Syria.

"To be an ally is to fight shoulder to shoulder", Macron said, adding that France was doing just that in Chad in the fight against jihadist groups.

After gaining wide stretches of territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq and declaring an Islamic "caliphate", they have mostly been driven from their strongholds, although they are holding out in some areas. "An ally should be reliable, co-ordinate with other allies".

Macron said that the troop withdrawal endangers Kurdish fighters, who were instrumental in the U.S-led coalition's fight against ISIS militants.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday criticized departing Defence Secretary James Mattis and his view of alliances, saying the Pentagon chief failed to recognise the true costs of America's military support around the world.

Earlier this year, the Saudis promised the president $100 million for American efforts to stabilize Syria.

Youssef Hammoud, spokesperson for the Syrian opposition fighters, accused the US -backed Kurdish militia of reaching out to the Syrian government to replace USA troops if they withdraw.

USA troops will leave under the auspices of a new Pentagon chief set to start next month, after Jim Mattis resigned from the post citing key differences, including on Syria, with the often impulsive Trump.


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