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Bolton on Sunday also toured the ancient tunnels beneath the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.

On Dec. 23 - after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis resigned in protest of Trump's withdrawal decision - Trump tweeted that he had discussed what he called a "slow and coordinated (U.S.) pullout" from Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement".

He was to be in Turkey on Monday, accompanied by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, for talks with government officials.

The YPG, which makes up the backbone of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), denies any organic ties with the PKK. Turkey has been engaged in a 40-year conflict with the Kurds and, at times, has been accused of brutal tactics. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, a terrorist group linked to an insurgency within its own borders. Ankara bristles at United States support for the YPG, which it has accused of ethnic cleansing and attacks on its soldiers.

Bolton is in Israel to assuage Israeli concerns that President Donald Trump is no longer invested in getting Iran and its proxy, the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, to leave Syria.

In a statement, İbrahim Kalın said: "The issue is PKK/PYD/YPG are making efforts to establish an order by oppressing Kurds, who don't obey them, and their terrorist activities against our country". "That a terror organization can not be allied with the U.S.is self-evident", he said. "One of the goals of Turkey's struggle against the PKK and its Syrian offshoots is to save the Kurds from the tyranny and oppression of this terror group".




US President Donald Trump's national security adviser said Sunday during a visit to Israel that the American withdrawal from Syria must be done with the defence of allies "assured".

A top White House aide says US troops won't leave northeastern Syria until Islamic State militants are defeated and USA -allied Kurdish fighters are protected.

That announcement was met with criticism from members of both parties, and was followed by two high-profile resignations: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Brett McGurk, the USA envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State.

The reassurances followed a diplomatic storm caused by Trump's surprise announcement in December that appeared to signal a rapid withdrawal from Syria, where USA special forces play an important role in supporting local forces fighting IS.

Despite backing from the US-led coalition and success in pushing back IS, Kurdish-led forces have at times incurred heavy losses.

Ziya Meral, director of the London and Beirut-based Centre on Religion and Global Affairs, said it would be "naive" for the USA to expect Turkey not to "interfere" in Syria while the YPG remained in control across the border. They could get slaughtered. The interventions of Russian Federation and Iran, in particular, have guaranteed the survival of the Assad regime, and slowly but surely helped it to re-conquer the country.


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