Cruz Urges US To Note Israel's Claim To Golan Heights

08 January, 2019, 00:15 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Trump Syria withdrawal to be'prudent

His visit comes a day after Bolton said guarantees about the safety of the Kurds were a "condition" of the withdrawal of about 2,000 troops in the region that President Donald Trump ordered last month.

While the USA announced in December its intentions to pull out of Syria, Russia has been directly involved in the eight-year war with its forces fighting alongside Bashar al-Assad's army since 2015.

Mr Trump said: 'We have defeated Isis in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency'.

"Any use of chemical weapons will be met by [a] very strong response, as we have done twice before", he said, referencing the Assad regime.

President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to announce a U.S. pull-out from Syria left many questions, chiefly whether Kurdish fighters operating in northern Syria would now be targeted by their long-time enemy Turkey. Most of the United States soldiers are there to train local forces fighting the hardcore-Islamist IS.

Angered by Trump's move, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas boycotted his administration, saying Washington is no longer qualified to serve as the sole mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel, and that an worldwide mechanism should be devised to replace the U.S. in the so-called peace process.

Trump defended his decision on the conviction that other countries should take on the burden of fighting whatever remains of IS, and has made tentative agreements with Turkey's President Recep Erdogan to essentially hand over the job to the Turks.

FILE - In this December 13, 2018 file photo, National Security Advisor John Bolton unveils the Trump Administration's Africa Strategy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

Bolton's outline of conditions for withdrawal appeared to contradict President Donald Trump's announcement of victory over ISIS and a hasty withdrawal from Syria.

"We don't want ISIS to rise again and be a transnational terrorist threat and we don't want our allies, the Kurds, to be slaughtered by Erdogan in Turkey", said Smith, D-Wash. "But we are decimating ISIS", Trump told reporters.

Bolton in September had said the United States would remain in Syria as long as Iranians were on the ground there.

His comments mark the first public confirmation the drawdown has been slowed, as Trump faced widespread criticism from allies and the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a policy that was to have been conducted within weeks. Indeed, so alarmed are they by this prospect, that the Kurds have requested that Assad send Syrian troops to help protect them from Turkey.

The soldiers also raided a Peugeot vehicle showroom in the city, and seized the recording of its surveillance cameras before withdrawing from the area.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will begin a week-long tour of the Middle East created to reassure allies in the region.

"I think this is the reality setting in that you got to plan this out", said U.S. Sen.

The YPG, which makes up the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), denies any organic ties with the PKK.

Netanyahu met with John Bolton on Sunday where he publicly asked the USA national security advisor for the United States to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.



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