Pompeo 'optimistic' Syria Kurds, Turkey can be protected

Pompeo Says The U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Syria Is Just A 'Tactical Change'

Pompeo confident of good outcome for Turkey and Kurds

He said the U.S. envoy for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, had travelled to northeast Syria this week and would soon go to Ankara for talks, including on moving forward a UN-led political process to end the eight-year long conflict in Syria.

USA forces have fought alongside a Kurdish militia in northern Syria against the Islamic State (IS) group.

The speech sought to lay out the Trump administration's strategy for the Middle East and criticized former U.S. President Barack Obama, without naming him, for "fundamental misunderstandings" about the Middle East.

The Kurdish groups that control the north have turned to Moscow and Damascus in the hope of striking a political deal that will stave off Turkey and shield their autonomy in the north.

US Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman, said the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria". "Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms", the President tweeted on Sunday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday he is "optimistic" the Syrian Kurds will not be abandoned and confident the USA and Turkey can work out a deal to assure the Kurds will be safe. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies.

"We also know that those who aren't terrorists, those who were fighting alongside of us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", Pompeo said.

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"Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions", Trump tweeted. "Stop the ENDLESS WARS!"

The announcement of a pullout is fueling concern about how quickly the US will abandon its Kurdish allies, amid contradictory statements recently by Trump administration officials on an exit timetable.

Pompeo also said the withdrawal of US troops from Syria was a "tactical change" and does not alter USA military capacity to counter Daesh and Iran.

On December 19, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced that the USA started to pull out its troops from Syria. It also prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and drew criticism in Congress. Sen.

Mevlut Cavusoglu and Mike Pompeo discussed the latest developments in Syria, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, called the decision a "betrayal of our Kurdish partners".

The move came after Trump declared that the "Islamic State" terrorist group had been defeated in Syria.

"We have no problems with our Kurdish brothers, Arab brothers in Syria, Turkmens and other ethnic and religious groups".

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