Israel sees limits of Trump support with Syria pullout

Statement For a full withdrawal — U.S. out of the Middle East

Days after handing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a diplomatic win by announcing he'll pull USA troops out of Syria, President Donald Trump defended the move, saying Turkey "should be able to easily take care of whatever remains" of Islamic State.

It comes after Trump ordered a complete withdrawal of USA forces from Syria, claiming that the Islamic State group had been defeated. The two men also discussed expanded trade, Trump said.

Trump made the initial decision to pull out of Syria after a phone call with Erdogan, announcing ISIS defeated in Syria in contradiction to assessments by his advisors. "After many years they are coming home", Trump tweeted.

And Trump's sudden decision sparked turmoil within his administration, prompting the resignation of Brett McGurk, the special envoy to the anti-IS coalition, as well as Mattis.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday criticized the US decision to pullout its troops from Syria.

Erdogan, during a speech Friday at the Turkish Exporters Assembly, said U.S.

Macron said that the troop withdrawal endangers Kurdish fighters, who were instrumental in the U.S-led coalition's fight against ISIS militants.

Turkey however welcomed the Trump's decision.

US President Donald Trump on Sunday said his Turkish counterpart assured him that any remaining Islamic State group fighters in Syria will be eliminated, after Trump abruptly ordered US troops in Syria to leave.

Macron also paid tribute to Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said he was resigning on Thursday after Trump´s Syria announcement.

Erdogan said he'd "provide all kinds of support to the United States, its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally" in the anti-terrorism campaign in Syria, according to a readout of the call published by Turkey.

British Defense minister Tobias Ellwood said: "I strongly disagree [with Trump]".

On Saturday, a senior Kurdish official called on the U.S. to prevent a potential Turkish offensive, calling it America's "duty to prevent any attack and to put an end to Turkish threats".

Eizenkot continued to say there are over 20,000 Hezbollah operatives in Syria, warranted "hundreds" of operations and strikes carried out by Israel in recent years.

Instead, during a lengthy phone call on December 14, Trump shocked even those in his inner circle by yielding to a suggestion from Erdogan to reverse the Pentagon's Syrian strategy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday night responded "Erdogan - the occupier of northern Cyprus, whose army massacres women and children in Kurdish villages, inside and outside Turkey - should not preach to Israel". When I became President, ISIS was going wild.

In July 2017, when Trump flew into Paris for Bastille Day, France's national holiday, Trump praised his host, saying: "France is America's first and oldest ally".

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and Women's Protection Units (YPJ) attend the funeral of Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces that were killed in combat against Islamic State (IS) group in Deir Ezzor, on March 3, 2018, in Syria's Qamishli.



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