Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

Giving a subsequent speech about broader US policy in the Middle East at the American University in Cairo, Pompeo said "now is the time" to bring America's forces out of Syria. The two sides are trying to reach agreement about Kurdish fighters allied with the United States against Islamic State forces in Syria.

But another source close to Kurdish military officials in Syria told VOA it appeared the USA military is in the process of relocating equipment and personnel within Syria.

America "will use diplomacy and work with our partners to expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria and bolster efforts "to bring peace and stability to the long-suffering Syrian people", he said during a speech in Egypt.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported earlier that the US-led coalition in Syria had started scaling down its presence at Rmeilan airfield in the Hasakeh province of northeastern Syria.

Under the current regional circumstances - including the potential United States pullout from northern Syria and Turkey's threats to launch a military operation - the Kurdish fighters have little leverage and will have to reduce their demands, according to Ibrahim Kaban, a researcher at the Kurdish Center for Studies based in Germany.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said he is confident that the Trump administration and Turkey can agree a way to protect the Kurdish fighters in Syria after US troops leave the country.

US national security advisor John Bolton said Friday that talks between USA and Turkish military officials will continue next week.

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Residents near border crossings that are typically used by USA forces going in and out of Syria from Iraq said they had seen no obvious or large-scale movement of USA ground forces on Friday.

The White House has not yet publicly altered it's most recent criteria, those announced by Bolton a week ago: that ISIS must be defeated and the Kurdish forces' security guaranteed before the American troops all come out.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu went so far on Wednesday as to say that if the USA withdrawal from Syria was delayed, "then we will put this decision into practice", suggesting Turkey could go after the Kurds in short order. Syria's assistance has allowed 400 fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to withdraw from the area. Turkey views the Kurdish YPG militia, which forms the core of the SDF force, as a national security threat.

The Turkish defense minister made this statement after a meeting with Chief of the General Staff Yasar Guler, Head of the National Intelligence Organization Hakan Fidan and Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar.

The Kurdish groups that control the north have turned to Moscow and Damascus in the hope of striking a political deal that will stave off Turkey and shield their autonomy in the north.

She said that once she was asked for examining a terror group's member in Syria's Ras al-Ayn to understand whether she was pregnant or not and "when they found out that she was pregnant, they killed the woman".

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