Donald Trump says discussed ‘highly coordinated’ Syria pullout with Turkey President Erdogan

Ibrahim Kalin

Saudi Arabia has agreed to "spend the necessary money" to rebuild Syria, US President Donald Trump said, only a few days after a contentious decision to withdraw US forces from the war-torn country.

Under President Barack Obama, the USA decided its most reliable ally in the fight against Islamic State in Syria was the Kurdish militant group YPG, and gave it extensive support.

The problem is that Turkey also views Kurdish forces allied with both the United States and Israel as terrorists, and experts are convinced that the Turkish military will soon engage the Kurds.

President Donald Trump has discussed a slow USA pullout from Syria with Turkey's Tayyip Erdogan.

The two leaders reportedly agree to coordinate to prevent an authority vacuum from developing as the withdrawal process begins.

Graham said that the United States could reduce, but not completely pull out, troops from Syria and "partner" with Turkey.

The next day, Trump said Russia, Iran and Syria were unhappy about the USA move "because now they will have to fight ISIS and others".

In August 2016, Ankara supported Syrian opposition fighters who regained territory in northern Syria from the Islamic State (IS) group in an operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield".

Turkey began reinforcing its positions on both sides of its border with Syria on Sunday (December 23), as Ankara and Washington agreed to co-ordinate a USA withdrawal from Syria.

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Israel's efforts against Iran in Syria will continue notwithstanding the anticipated American pullout from that country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning.

"We must not forget what we owe them", Macron said Sunday on a visit to Chad.

A Turkish operation in Syria is expected to target some of the areas under the control of YPG fighters, who Ankara considers to be terrorists. "The SDF is fighting against the terrorism that fomented attacks against Paris and elsewhere".

The president spent much of Monday tweeting, including 10 tweets in four hours on a variety of subjects, including the government shut down, funding for his border wall, the resignation/firing of Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Syria.

Paris has strongly criticized US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US forces, arguing that the IS fight is not over.

Sunday's deployment is another sign that Erdogan has managed to become a more central player both in Middle Eastern politics and USA foreign policy, capitalizing on an American president eager to fulfill promises to extricate troops from quagmires.

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

Erdogan went on to say: "In Syria, it is a matter of freedom and its territorial integrity".

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