US, Turkey set for negotiations on fate of Kurds

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

In addition, Turkey must "meet the president's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered".

And according to Raphael Marcus, Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of War Studies at the King's College London the Golan Heights indeed "remains strategically and militarily important for Israel, in light of Iranian and Hezbollah operational activity in southern Syria, specifically on the Syrian side of the Golan". "He did not mention Iran".

After initially supporting the civilian uprising against the Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Obama Administration failed to provide much in the way of material support.

"Responding to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies requires ensuring that Israel can defend its territory and its citizens from attacks", Cruz and Cotton said Sunday in their statement. "That was it. Then he left".

"This is another sign of how the Israeli government sees in the Trump administration an unprecedented opportunity to advance goals long rejected by the worldwide community", said Ben White, journalist, and author of "Cracks in the Wall: Beyond Apartheid in Palestine/Israel".

At stake is the future power order of the Middle East, and whether the U.S. and its allies continue to play a role in shaping it.

That is why United States abandonment of the Kurds would be not only destabilising for Syria, but wrong in principle.

Asked Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether Bolton's comments were an admission that Trump had "made a mistake, " Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC, said, "I think this is the reality setting in that you got to plan this out".

While Bolton's reassurances may have come as a relief to some, a top House Democrat stressed that the priorities the national security adviser outlined were "obvious" - and simply highlighted how risky Trump's initial withdrawal announcement was. An NSC official, in turn, responded to questions by pointing to Trump's tweet.

"I've discussed this with the President and I hope that I have a chance to show this directly to you tomorrow on our visit". You've had enough time.' We've knocked them out, " he said of the Islamic State.

"My understanding is Bolton is maximally interpreting his brief - and is attempting to present Trump with a false choice", Aaron Stein, a Turkey expert and director of the Middle East program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, told Al-Monitor today.

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The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that monitors the Syrian civil war, said in a report Sunday that the IS attack occurred the previous day in the village of Shaafa in eastern Deir el-Zour province amid fierce clashes between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by the US -led coalition, and IS militants. "This suggests United States forces will be gone in 2019". "Ultimately Ankara too needs an exit strategy as it wants Syria to remain intact".

A senior Kurdish official said Monday that Syria's Kurds are awaiting clarifications from the U.S. Speaking to The Associated Press from northern Syria Monday, Badran Ciya Kurd said the Kurds have not been informed of any change in the U.S. position and were in the dark about Bolton's latest comments.

Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have stated repeatedly in recent months that driving Iran from Syria was also an objective for the United States and Israel.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs for Camp David from the White House in Washington, US on January 6, 2019. "If nothing else, it makes it hard for local actors to trust what Trump's envoys are telling them when they know it could be undermined by the president".

In December 2018, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Tom Cotton introduced a draft resolution to the Senate, which encouraged the USA to officially recognize the status-quo in the area.

"Bolton did not go rogue", Miller added.

When he first announced the move on 19 December, he said "they're all coming back and they're coming back now".

Until now the USA presence in north-eastern Syria, especially near Al-Bukamal and the border with Iraq, has effectively prevented the creation of this land-bridge between centres of Iranian influence. We're going to be removing our troops.

Ziya Meral, senior resident fellow at the British Army's Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research, said the priorities of the U.S. and Turkey over northern Syria are hard to reconcile, not least because it is not clear what it is that the Trump administration actually want to see in the long term.

Trump was not specific about a time frame, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters after meeting with Trump.

Many supporters, critics, and worldwide allies expressed shock over the decision, saying it would hand Russian Federation and Iran a victory and leave the Kurds at the mercy of Turkish forces. "Turkey would not want to be a single actor advancing deep into Syrian territory to defeat Islamic State, but would want U.S. and coalition support". "Turkey hates ISIS, maybe not as much as we do".

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