Trump Warns Turkey Not to Harm Kurds After U.S. Quits Syria

US withdrawal from Syria begins after contradictory messages from John Bolton and Mike Pompeo

"Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions", he wrote. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

A US-led coalition of over 70 member-nations has been conducting military operations against the Daesh terror group in Syria and Iraq.

The delay has restricted Turkey's ability to launch an offensive against the YPG, a group of Kurdish fighters it considers terrorists, but who served as allies to the USA coalition to defeat Islamic State.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday he is "optimistic" the Syrian Kurds will not be abandoned and confident the US and Turkey can work out a deal to assure the Kurds will be safe. It also provoked concerns about the safety of Kurdish forces who fought ISIS alongside the Syria but are considered terrorists by Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Gulf emirate is his latest stop in a regional tour aimed at reassuring allies after a Trump's shock announcement in December that United States troops would be withdrawn from Syria.

Pompeo said Trump considers the kingdom a "key ally" for the US and their partnership will keep going.

The US-led coalition on Saturday fired more than 20 missiles against Islamist positions, the Observatory said.

"We also know that those who aren't terrorists, those who were fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", Pompeo said.

Cavusoglu once again "rejected and condemned" Bolton's comments on the conditional withdrawal and said despite different voices coming out from Washington, the Turkish president's interlocutor was Trump.

Turkey has criticized the USA working with the terrorist PKK/PYD to fight Daesh, saying that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

Pompeo said Friday that Washington recognized "the Turkish people's right and Erdogan's right to defend their country from terrorists".

The move came after Trump declared that the "Islamic State" terrorist group had been defeated in Syria.

A political deal could piece back together the two biggest chunks of a country splintered by eight years of war, leaving one corner of the northwest in the hands of anti-Assad rebels backed by Turkey - an adversary of both the YPG and Damascus.

Special representative for Syria Jim Jeffrey, a former US envoy to Turkey and Iraq, is expected to return to Turkey to continue discussions, Pompeo added.

"President Macron spoke to him (Trump) several times and it seems that there has been a change that I think is positive", he said in a television interview on Thursday.