Netanyahu Slams Turkey's Erdogan as 'Antisemitic Dictator' Who Is 'Obsessed' With Israel


On Wednesday, Washington announced it will be withdrawing all of its troops from Syria, following a conversation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US counterpart Trump over an imminent Turkish cross-border operation to eliminate PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terror group from northern Syria.

In an abrupt policy shift, Trump announced on Wednesday that Washington would withdraw the roughly 2,000 USA troops in Syria, upending a pillar of American policy in the Middle East and alarming United States allies.

Trump then asked US National Security Adviser John Bolton, who had listened in on his phone call with Erdogan, whether this was true-to which Bolton answered that it was, but added that US troops must remain in Syria.

"To be an ally is to fight shoulder to shoulder", he said, "paying tribute" to outgoing Secretary Mattis, who he called a "reliable partner".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the reinforcements were sent to the front line with Manbij, where USA troops have been based.

A pro-government Facebook page posted a photo of Tiger Force commander Brig.

On Wednesday, the White House announced that the United States began withdrawing its forces from Syria, but stressed that it did not mean the end of the US-led worldwide coalition's fight against the Daesh terror group. The battles have left hundreds of IS and SDF fighters dead. The Observatory said 50 vehicles crossed into Syria - carrying troops and equipment.

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McGurk brought forward his departure after Trump announced the US withdrawal Wednesday, a move that also saw Defense Secretary James Mattis tender his resignation.

His decision came barely a fortnight after he said of the war against ISIS: "It would be reckless if we were just to say, 'Well, the physical caliphate is defeated, so we can just leave now".

On Sunday, the Turkish IHA news agency reported that a convoy of Turkish troops - a commando unit - had been sent into Syria overnight.

"Basically, the deployment and presence of US forces in the region was wrong, illogical and a tension-maker", said Ghasemi.

Earlier Saturday, Iran's Foreign Ministry said the US military presence in Syria has damaged the region in the government's first comments on Trump's plan to pull USA troops from the war-torn country.

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.