Turkey bolsters military on Syrian border as US readies pull-out

Trump Leaves Israel to Fend for Itself

Trump buries the hatchet with Erdogan over Syria

The Turkish presidency said Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call on Sunday agreed to establish military and diplomatic coordination to prevent an authority vacuum from developing as the United States withdraws.

"The execute order for Syria has been signed", a USA military spokesperson told AFP on Sunday in response to a query, without providing further details.

The president, however, announced the operation's delay last week just a few days after US President Donald Trump called for a withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

They will see it as righteous vindication, and it will fortify their willingness and dedication to attacking us, our allies - and our interests.

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there", wrote President Donald Trump, as he ordered the withdrawal of all USA forces from Syria, stunning the USA foreign policy establishment.

The Kurds could pull back to the Kurdish-majority region in the far northeast but that would leave resources and Kurdish-majority pockets in the east isolated and vulnerable.

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Part of the military equipment and personnel are to be positioned in posts along the border while some had crossed into Syria via the district of Elbeyli situated some 45 km (28 miles) northwest of Manbij, Demiroren News Agency (DHA) reported.

McGurk's resignation, effective December 31, comes on the heels of Mattis's decision to quit the Trump administration over key disagreements with the U.S. president, notably the Syria withdrawal.

The United States has also told the U.N. Security Council that it is committed to the "permanent destruction" of ISIS and would keep pushing for the withdrawal of Iranian-backed forces in the country.

Erdogan has long castigated his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally over its support for Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters against Islamic State. It will also effectively hand the fight against Islamic State in Syria to Turkey and set Ankara up to broaden its push against the Syrian Kurdish YPG.

And Kalin vowed that there was "no question of a step backwards, vulnerability or a slowdown in the fight against Daesh (IS)".

"The Turks repeatedly promised the Obama administration they would take a lead role in combatting IS and they never produced a viable plan", he told Kurdistan 24.

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Manbij was at the center of an agreement the United States and Turkey reached in June under which Kurdish forces were to withdraw. Under the June deal, Kurdish forces would leave Manbij, in the western Euphrates valley, but delays have infuriated Turkey.

Hammoud said there is "no alternative" to Turkish forces and their allies replacing U.S troops. "In fact, Turkey would need many months of active USA support to build such a force and have it ready to function in the zone now controlled by the SDF", Heras told Kurdistan 24.

Trump has claimed to have defeated IS, but the Kurdish fighters are still battling the extremists in the remote town of Hajin near the Iraqi border.

Syrian Kurdish forces in northern Syria are considering contingency plans and partnering with new alliances in the face of an anticipated Turkish incursion in the region, the NPR said on Monday.

Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the plan as it would have involved the easing of sanctions, which he views as the primary vehicle through which to pressure the Iranian regime to curb its expansionism and renegotiate the 2015 nuclear agreement, from which the US withdrew in May.

In the fight against IS, hundreds of Kurdish fighters were killed.

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