U.S. will 'assure' Israel's security before Syria pullout

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters

The withdrawal of US troops from Syria depends on certain conditions, US National Security Adviser John Bolton says, in a further indication that the process is being slowed down.

"Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfilment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see".

"There is no doubt that a terror group can not be an ally of the U.S.", Kalin said.

However, with the USA decision to withdraw from Syria, Erdoğan said Turkey would postpone the operation until the withdrawal of US troops is completed.

Syrian Kurds, who have fought ISIS alongside American forces, fear an attack from Turkey when the US withdraws.

The security advisor also said the USA wants assurances from Turkey about the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States before the US military withdraws.

Bolton said Trump has made clear he would not allow Turkey to kill the Kurds.

Some 2,000 U.S. military personnel are reported to be in Syria although the real numbers could be higher. "And despite getting out of the Iran nuclear deal, despite the sanctions, we have little doubt that Iran's leadership is still strategically committed to achieving deliverable nuclear weapons", he said, standing next to Netanyahu.

It was also reported that a Kurdish fighter was killed.

In mid-December, Erdoğan announced an imminent Turkish operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, saying Turkey had begun taking action for an offensive against the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate.

He also said the United States would keep some troops stationed at a key base in Al Tanf, which was originally used as a base to train fighters against the Islamic State, also known by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL, but has since become pivotal for the United States to combat Iranian influence in Syria.

Fear of a Turkish assault has led the Kurds to strike an agreement with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to leave the Syrian town Manbij in exchange for military support in case they come under attack from Turkey.

Fighting alongside Arab and Kurdish forces, American troops have been largely successful in pushing back the Islamic State and stabilizing the country, since entering Syria in 2014.

Bolton was expected to explain that some US troops based in Syria to fight IS will shift to Iraq with the same mission and that the al-Tanf base would remain. He watched a virtual reality tour of the historic site and dined there with his Israeli equivalent, as well as with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israel's Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer.

Trump himself has more recently spoken of "slowly" sending troops home "over a period of time", and Bolton laid out some of the conditions required before it takes place. Israel captured the Old City from Jordan in the 1967 war.

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