Saudi Arabia to pay for rebuilding Syria

The US-led combined joint task force fighting ISIS announced Tuesday that it continued airstrikes and coordinated attacks in Syria, days after President Donald Trump's decision to begin the withdrawal of US troops in the country.

Hours earlier, Mr Trump had tweeted that he and Mr Erdogan "discussed (ISIS), our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of United States troops from the area".

An American exit would allow Turkish troops to move against Kurdish fighters in Syria who have played a key role in the war against ISIL but are deemed terrorists by Ankara.

McGurk, whose resignation is effective December 31, was planning to leave the job in mid-February after a USA -hosted meeting of foreign ministers from the coalition countries, but he felt he could continue no longer after Trump's decision to withdraw from Syria and Mattis' resignation.

The U.S. president concluded: "Our troops are coming home!"

Kurdish forces held the line and said they killed "dozens" of jihadist fighters with support by USA air strikes. US policy has been to keep troops in place until the extremists are eradicated. In recent weeks Turkey had said the US was dragging its feet in implementing the deal and had vowed to launch a new offensive against the Kurds.

The Ankara-backed rebels fought alongside Turkish soldiers earlier this year to retake the Kurdish border enclave of Afrin - one of three cantons unilaterally declared by Syrian Kurds in 2016 as their "federal region".

Netanyahu spoke with Trump on the phone last Thursday about the United States military withdrawal from Syria.

But the PKK connection has been obvious.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia's relationship has come under greater scrutiny due to widespread allegations that Prince Mohammed was behind the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul in October and reports of civilian casualties amid the kingdom's war against a Zaidi Shiite Muslim group known as Ansar Allah, or the Houthis, in Yemen.

The matter has assumed greater significance ahead of the prospective unilateral pull-out of American troops from Syria, which analysts near-uniformly contend greatly diminishes the ability of both the US and Israel to influence developments on the ground. It has lost over 6,000 fighters. That experience is perhaps without equal, Derek Chollet, a former USA assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration, told The Post.

The command to the controversial withdrawal of American troops from Syria is signed.

Trump, for his part, has never been a fan of sending US troops out for battles overseas.

Days later, the main figure leading the war against Islamic State, Brett McGurk, also stepped down, citing "shock" among partners overseas.

He said the United States was aiming to train around 40,000 local fighters in Syria to prevent Isis from regrouping but that only around 8,000 were ready.

He also said that the offensive would not begin until U.S. troops withdraw from Syria. But the Trump administration has made it clear its campaign against terrorism continues.

The United States is now working on stabilizing and providing early recovery efforts in areas liberated from ISIS control, including the removal of explosive war remnants and the restoration of essential services.

Trump proclaimed Wednesday morning that ISIS had been defeated in Syria, accomplishing "my only reason for being there". Washington has provided almost $8.1 billion in assistance for people displaced since the crisis started, including 12.1 million people suffering in Syria and 5.6 million Syrian refugees in the region.

The IDF will continue to operate against Iranian threats in Syria, Einzekot said, Ravid reported. The Obama administration backed the opposition against Assad, trying to destabilize his regime, while Assad violently suppressed the protests against his regime.

  • Rogelio Becker