Bolton says Turkey must not attack Kurdish fighters once US leaves Syria

John Bolton is set to meet Israel's prime minister and Turkey's president during his trip

"There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal", Bolton said, according to NBC.

"The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security", Netanyahu told US National Security Adviser John Bolton, during a joint statement after their meeting at the Prime Minister's Residence on Balfour Street. U-S President Donald Trump also said his country is withdrawing its forces from the Arab country, but the pullout is NOT taking place so quickly.

Mr Bolton said on Sunday that "the timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement".

Asked whether a USA withdrawal would not take place in Syria until Turkey guaranteed the Kurdish fighters would be safe, Bolton said, "Basically, that's right".

The move prompted the resignations of United States defence secretary Jim Mattis and top USA official Brett McGurk, as analysts and military experts said the threat posed by IS still remains. McGurk announced his resignation several days later.

He and other top White House advisers led a behind-the-scenes effort to slow the President's order and reassure allies, including Israel, the New York Times reported. "It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered".

Turkey has repeatedly vowed to capture Manbij and to extend its offensive against the Kurds eastwards, but USA troops were a major obstacle.

And Turkey's presidential spokesman, with whom Bolton will meet Tuesday, called allegations that his country planned to attack the USA -allied Kurds in Syria "irrational" and said Turkey was fighting terrorism for national security. Most of the U.S. soldiers are there to train local forces fighting the hardcore-Islamist IS.

After Trump announced his withdrawal plan, Turkey began to deploy military vehicles and troops close to a northwest Syrian town that it has long sought to capture, Bloomberg reports. "I think they know who their friends are", Bolton said, referring to the Kurds. In September a senior United States official said there was evidence showing chemical weapons were being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in the country.

British special forces are known to be on the ground in northern Syria, although the British government does not provide details about their presence.

Bolton was expected to explain that some US troops based in Syria to fight IS will shift to Iraq with the same mission and that the al-Tanf base would remain.

But the main fighting force in the SDF is the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey regards as a terrorist group.

Though Trump ordered a rapid withdrawal of troops from Syria on December 19, no timetable was provided. "There is no doubt that a terror group can not be an ally of the United States".

While Trump has expressed confidence that Turkey, which controls its own Syrian force opposed to the Kurds and to President Bashar Assad, is capable of picking up the remaining fight against the Islamic State, Pentagon and State Department officials question Turkish priorities and capabilities.

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