Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

ISIS attack: Two British special forces soldiers ‘seriously injured’

ISIS attack: Two British special forces soldiers ‘seriously injured’

U.S. forces will not pull out from Syria until remaining Islamic State remnants are completely erradicated, and Turkey guarantees the safety of US-backed Kurdish militias, National Security Adviser John Bolton has said.

The pullout announcedon December 19 was initially expected to be completed within weeks, but the timetable has slowed as the president acceded to requests from aides, allies and members of US Congress for a more orderly withdrawal.

"That a terror organization can not be allied with the U.S.is self-evident", he said.

Making the announcement on December 19 in a video posted on Twitter, Trump said that IS had been defeated and that "all" of the roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria would be "coming back now".

The move shocked U.S. allies and American defence officials alike, with United States defence secretary Jim Mattis and a top USA official in the fight against IS, Brett McGurk, resigning soon after.

He added that Turkey should also avoid killing Kurds in Syria.

United States forces will not pull out from Syria until Turkey guarantees the safety of US-backed Kurdish militias, National Security Adviser John Bolton has said, as cited by AP.

Bolton said the US wants its Kurdish allies in Syria protected from any planned Turkish offensive - a warning to be delivered to Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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The YPG is the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which maintains close military cooperation with the US. A spokesman for the group, Mustafa Bali, said they included two Americans, two Pakistanis and one Irish citizen.

A Kurdish fighter was reportedly killed in the attack.

While Trump had originally promised to pull out all American troops within a month, Bolton refused to provide a clear timetable and said the evacuation would go ahead as planned once all "conditions" were met. "And I would just say to any nation, whether in this region or not in this region, that has any doubt about America's support for Israel's right to self-defense - they better think about it again".

The U.S.is also seeking a "satisfactory disposition" for roughly 800 IS prisoners held by the U.S. -backed Syrian opposition, Bolton said, adding talks were ongoing with European and regional partners about the issue.

"When you're there, you'll understand why we'll never leave the Golan Heights, and why it's important for all countries to recognize Israeli sovereignty", Netanyahu told Bolton during a joint press conference on Sunday.

The chances of Turkey's President Recep Erdogan agreeing not to attack Kurdish forces in Syria are slim.

NBC News also reported that, according to a senior administration official, some troops will remain in Syria longterm. He watched a virtual reality tour of the historic site and dined there with his Israeli equivalent, as well as with US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israel's Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. Israel captured the Old City from Jordan in the 1967 war.

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