Pompeo discusses US drawdown in Syria with Turkish counterpart

“The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to Pompeo about the newest developments in Syria,” said a short statement from Turkey’s international ministry.

Pompeo’s get in touch with with Cavusoglu arrived as the leading US diplomat carries on a marathon Middle East tour, which has taken him to Cairo, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. He is also anticipated to journey to Saudi Arabia.

In a higher-profile speech Thursday in Cairo, Pompeo insisted there experienced been no contradiction in the shifting US method in Syria or confusion about it regardless of the shocked response to the shift from allies in the Center East and past.

He told Egyptian point out television a working day later on he planned to talk to the Turkish overseas minister to occur to a “prevalent comprehending” about the execution of President Donald Trump’s conclusion to withdraw US troops from Syria in an “orderly and productive” way.

US calls for that the Syrian Kurds be guarded soon after US forces depart have worsened previously strained relations with Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly blasted US national protection adviser John Bolton on Tuesday for saying the US withdrawal was contingent on Turkey’s pledge not to assault US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria at the time American troops go home.

Turkey considers several Kurdish groups — such as the People’s Security Models, also identified as the YPG — to be terrorist organizations.

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The YPG is the spine of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is the most important US associate on the ground in the battle against ISIS and has controlled a significant swath of northern Syria for the earlier a number of decades.

Pompeo sought to play down the friction with Turkey, having said that, in remarks to reporters Wednesday prior to departing Erbil in northern Iraq.

“These are individuals that have fought with us and that it truly is vital that we do anything we can to make sure that those people people that fought with us are shielded and Erdogan has built commitments, he understands that — I consider he takes advantage of the language that he has no beef with the Kurds — we want to make guaranteed that which is the circumstance,” Pompeo explained.

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Kurds on the front strains of the fight against ISIS in Syria advised CNN their morale has taken a hit as they seek defense by strengthening other alliances — such as with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Russians.

In the meantime, US Gulf allies, which includes the UAE, have been ramping up their engagement with the Assad routine considering that Trump introduced the US drawdown on December 19, as US leverage on Syria is now noticed as waning.

However, there is still no clarity on when troops might withdraw, with both of those Pompeo and Bolton refusing to dedicate to a withdrawal timetable in the latest times.

CNN’s Isil Sariyuce claimed from Istanbul and Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. CNN’s Jennifer Hansler, Nicole Gaouette and Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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