Trump tells Erdogan Syria all yours, we are done

President Donald Trump justified his decision to withdraw USA forces from Syria, noting Monday that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would instead bear the brunt of the remaining anti-Islamic State effort.

Trump received criticism from Republican and Democratic lawmakers, former government leaders, and global allies for what they have perceived as a premature withdrawal of USA forces from Syria, where troops have been since 2015 assisting a Syrian Arab and Kurdish alliance fighting against IS.

Trump justified the move with an early-morning tweet claiming that the U.S. defeated the Islamic State in Syria (ISIS).

Youssef Hammoud, of the Turkey-backed Syrian opposition forces, said their fighters and weapons have been deploying on the front line with Manbij, a Kurdish-administered town in northern Syria where USA troops are based.

Trump wrote on Twitter Sunday that he had a "long and productive" call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding military deployment in Syria.

The two leaders reportedly agree to coordinate to prevent an authority vacuum from developing as the withdrawal process begins. Meanwhile, in northern Syria, Turkish-backed militia Free Syria Army (FSA) were deployed to areas near the Kurdish-held town of Manbij, Anadolu said.

Trump's decision, announced last week after a call with Erdogan, surprised his allies and his own experts, sparking the resignation of two of his top aides.

Turkey ensured the security in the Jarabulus city of northern Syria and Afrin, northwestern Syrian city, the president said.

The move has drawn criticism from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

USA policy had been to keep boots on the ground in Syria to prevent ISIS from establishing a caliphate, and to train local forces.

"We must not forget what we owe them", Macron said Sunday on a visit to Chad.

Turkey is massing troops near a town in northern Syria held by a Kurdish-led force backed by the United States, a war monitor and Turkish media have said.

Allies around the world have been stunned by Mattis' departure, having seen the former general as a reliable supporter of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other long-standing partnerships. "The SDF is fighting against the terrorism that fomented attacks against Paris and elsewhere".

In turn, Trump explained his decision by saying that the mission in the country has been accomplished and the Daesh terrorist group has been defeated. "In fact, Jews don't kick men but also women and children when they fall on the ground", warning that "we will confront these people if they have courage to deal with us and we'll teach them a lesson".

He said up to 15,000 Syrian fighters trained in Turkey are ready to take part in the operation.

Trump, since his 2016 presidential campaign had said "he wanted to get out of Syria", said Mulvaney, adding that the president "is entitled to have a secretary of defense who is committed to that same end".

Erdogan went on to say: "In Syria, it is a matter of freedom and its territorial integrity".

Darwish dismissed the claims as "untrue", calling them "old accusations" from the rival Syrian groups.

  • Rogelio Becker