Turkey says nearly 300,000 Syrian refugees have gone home


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Donald Trump on Sunday talked on phone and agreed to ensure diplomatic and military coordination to prevent an authority vacuum following the USA withdrawal from Syria.

The military last week threatened another incursion against YPG, this time vowing to eliminate the fighters from all of northeastern Syria, where about 2,000 USA special forces have operated, helping in the fight against IS and serving as a buffer in Turkish-Kurdish clashes.

Turkey was a rare ally that lauded Trump's decision on Syria, since it will now have a freer rein to target Kurdish fighters in the country's north who were armed and trained by the U.S. and played a major role in the war against Islamic State (IS) group.

Until Mr Trump finds a permanent Pentagon chief, Mr Shanahan will lead plans for United States troops to leave Syria along with a significant drawdown in Afghanistan, both of which critics worry will leave war-torn regions at risk of continued and potentially heightened bloodshed.

So what do we know about this tweet this morning where President Trump basically announced that Secretary of Defense James Mattis will be leaving two months early?

The two leaders reportedly agree to coordinate to prevent an authority vacuum from developing as the withdrawal process begins. We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of USA troops from the area.

He said: "I call on everyone not to forget what we owe them".

Jarabulus and Al-Bab were areas captured from IS during Ankara's first military operation in August 2016 which lasted until March 2017.

"My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades´ immersion in these issues", Mattis wrote to Trump, who has sought closer ties with Russian Federation and heaped contempt on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other alliances.

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Meng to the United States and into the hands of USA authorities", Amanda DeBusk of the global trade law firm Dechert told CNBC. The latest case doesn't seem to fit the pattern of the previous two, and Trudeau said he favors de-escalating the tensions.

Turkey pursues the freedom of the Arabs and the Kurds with its presence in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday. The Turkish president also sang the praises of his country's cooperation with Iran and Russian Federation in Syria.

An American pullout would allow Turkish troops to move against the hardened Kurdish fighters in Syria deemed terrorists by the Ankara regime - but who have strongly supported United States efforts there.

"An ally should be dependable", Macron said at a press conference during his visit to Chad.

Turkey has long criticized the US for training and arming the YPG, which it says is linked to domestic terrorists it has fought for more than three decades.

But Ankara says the USA and the Kurdish YPG fighters didn't live up to their end of the deal and that it would start an offensive in eastern Syria to drive out the militia. In recent weeks Turkey had said the US was dragging its feet in implementing the deal and had vowed to launch a new offensive against the Kurds. "He has informed President Erdogan of his decision", said the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

The Kurdish militia, who played a leading role in fighting the Islamic State (IS) fear it could help the extremist group to regain a foothold, according to Duetche Welle, which cited the group's media director Mustafa Bali.

He said up to 15,000 Syrian fighters trained in Turkey are ready to take part in the operation.

After gaining wide stretches of territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq and declaring an Islamic "caliphate", they have mostly been driven from their strongholds, although they are holding out in some areas.

Darwish dismissed the claims as "untrue", calling them "old accusations" from the rival Syrian groups.