US Troop Withdrawal A Step In The Right Direction: Russia

US Troop Withdrawal A Step In The Right Direction: Russia

US Troop Withdrawal A Step In The Right Direction: Russia

Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters have been moving to the outskirts of Manbij and the Turkish army continues to dispatch tanks, artillery and other equipment to the border and an area administered by Turkey in northern Syria, according to Turkish media reports.

Prior to Trump's announced Syria pullout, the promised large-scale assault and ongoing future operations would have eventually brought American troops and advisers under fire, who've found themselves in the awkward position since entering Syria of training Syrian Kurdish militias on the one hand and coordinating broadly with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey on the other.

Ankara has said it'll deploy its forces to Jarabulus and Manbij in Syria.

Ankara views the YPG militia as a sister "terrorist" organization of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984. He, however, warned that the movement "can lure many recruits mainly from Iraq and Syria".

Arimah lies between Manbij and the areas liberated in Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield.

"We assume that any positive changes on the ground in Syria can only yield a long-term positive effect if they are reinforced by substantial progress on the political settlement track based on respect for Syria's unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty", the diplomat stressed.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu assured the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Alexei Yerkhov, that Turkey would not provide the United States with the opportunity to study S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems, a source in the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

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During a speech Friday, Erdogan promised to hold off on a planned military operation aimed at destroying elements of the YPG in Syria, although he added the campaign would still get under way in the coming months.

Erdogan's comments come after Turkey invited President TrumpDonald John TrumpPresident Trump, first lady attend Christmas service at National Cathedral Trump open to visiting Turkey in 2019 but no "definite" plans, White House says Trump has weighed dismissing Mnuchin: Bloomberg MORE to visit in 2019.

"We have pointed out a few times that the U.S. occupation of a considerable part of Syrian territory is a major obstacle to such a settlement", Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters on Wednesday.

Syrian troops were positioned in areas to the west of Manbij on Tuesday, in anticipation of a potential offensive. In the meantime, the American decision is likely to push the PYD/YPG into a closer relationship with the Syrian government.

The United States has also told the U.N. Security Council that it is committed to the "permanent destruction" of ISIS and would keep pushing for the withdrawal of Iranian-backed forces in the country.

It is widely believed that the reason for Mattis' departure is that Trump declined to retreat from his stand on withdrawal of all American troops from Syria. "We are exhausted of this", he said in remarks broadcast live by private Turkish-language TGRT Haber television news network on June 12.

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