"Will Devastate Turkey Economically If They Hit Kurds", Warns Trump

30 2018 shows a line of US military vehicles in Syria's northern city of Manbij

US Starts Withdrawal of Military Hardware From Syria'for Security Reasons AFP 2018 Delil SOULEIMAN

"Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds", Trump tweeted, urging Ankara to create a "20-mile safe zone".

U.S. forces in northern Syria have fought alongside a Kurdish militia against Islamic State (IS) militants.

On a visit to Turkish troops stationed near the Syrian border Friday, Turkey's defence minister, Hulusi Akar, reiterated that Ankara is "determined" to fight Kurdish militias it considers terrorists and said military preparations were ongoing. But Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to crush the Kurdish groups that have been effective in defeating IS in Syria.

Democratic Party legislator Adam Schiff on Friday lashed out at the Donald Trump administration for its decision to pull the U.S. out of Syria.

A senior figure in Saudi Arabia's royal family, Prince Turki al-Faisal, told the BBC it would have a "negative impact" that would benefit Iran, Russia and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Cairo, the capital of Egypt, on Thursday that America will withdraw from Syria despite criticism of the move.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said sources in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah reported the departure of about 10 armored vehicles from a military base in the town of Rmelan late Thursday.

US Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman, said the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria".

Kurdish-led groups who control swathes of northern Syria fear an attack from Turkey in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw troops from their region.

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What has Mike Pompeo said?

Pompeo discussed latest developments in Syria during a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on January 12.

Mr Pompeo said a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu involved several elements of US-Turkey relations, including Syria and the detention of Americans in Turkey.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 seeking documents that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia's rulers, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three months ago. But in coming weeks, the contingent of about 2,000 American troops is expected to depart even as the White House says it will keep up the pressure on ISIS.

The US military, Trump promised, will still use an "existing nearby base", apparently in Iraq, to attack the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) militants if the terrorist organization re-emerges in Syria.

He told reporters in Israel that it would be done in a way that guaranteed IS "is defeated and is not able to revive itself", and that the United States would "take care of those who have fought with us against [IS] and other terrorist groups".

Over the intervening years the number of U.S. troops in Syria has increased, and a network of bases and airfields has been established in an arc across the north-eastern part of the country.

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