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JERUSALEM – President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Sunday that the U.S. military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on defeating the remnants of the Islamic State group, and on Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.
Bolton, who traveled to Israel to reassure the U.S. ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there is no timetable for the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria, but insisted it’s not an unlimited commitment.
“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem. “The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”
Bolton, who is to travel on to Turkey on Monday, said the U.S. is insisting that its Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State group are protected from any planned Turkish offensive. He is to deliver a warning to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week.
Call it warning. I call it a threat. Because it is a threat.
He is to deliver a warning to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week.
“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States,” Bolton said.
Do as we say. Anything not coordinated with and agreed to by the US is off the table.
Forget about protecting your nation and/or it’s borders.
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Bolton said the U.S. has asked its Kurdish allies to “stand fast now” and refrain from seeking protection from Russia or Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. He said Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford would continue negotiations with his Turkish counterparts this week to seek protection for America’s Kurdish allies in Syria.
He added that Ambassador Jim Jeffrey, who has been serving since August as the special representative for Syrian engagement and was named last week as the American special envoy for the anti-Islamic State coalition, would travel to Syria this week in an effort to reassure the U.S.’s Kurdish allies that they are not being abandoned.
Bolton said al Tanf is staying put
Bolton said U.S. troops would remain at the critical are of al-Tanf, in southern Syria, to counter growing Iranian activity in the region. He defended the legal basis for the deployment, saying it’s justified by the president’s Constitutional authority, adding “I’m a strong believer in Article II.”
Bolton on Sunday also toured the ancient tunnels beneath the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City. He watched a virtual reality tour of the historic site and dined there with his Israeli equivalent, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer.
Bolton the provocateur.
hattip to anonymous commenter
Visiting American officials typically avoid holding official meetings in parts of east Jerusalem, which is contested between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump himself, however, also toured the area in a previous visit. Israel captured the Old City from Jordan in the 1967 war.
he apparently ensured to the Israelis that any strikes from Israel onto Syria have full US support; they are also told the Israelis that their is no timetable for withdrawal and that the US may maintain their military occupation of Syria's southwestern border with Iraq in Al-Tanf.Speaking of Bolton's trip to the Zionist entity,Guardian
Link on US support for further Israeli strikes: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/05/syria-john-bolton-trump-us-chemical-weapons
Link on continued US occupation of Al-Tanf: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/some-u-s-troops-could-remain-syria-after-planned-withdrawal-n955046
Bolton also was to convey the message that the US will be “very supportive” of Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in Syria,
It is an unnamed source, but, it fits the agenda perfectly. The US has been supportive all along of Israeli strikes on Syria.... No reason to think for a second anything has changed.