U.S. Officials Clash With Turkey Over Conditions To Prevent Troop Withdrawal From Syria

While there’s conflicting statements within the Trump Administration over whether the U.S. will pull troops out of Syria, the latest rhetoric from White House officials is increasing tensions between the U.S. and its NATO allies.
During a visit to Israel, White House national security advisor John Bolton claimed the United States would only withdraw troops from Syria IF Turkey agreed not to attack Kurdish fighters in the region.
Turkey has previously labeled the US-backed Kurdish forces as a terrorist group. The Turkish government also announced last month that it was launching a new military offensive to drive the Kurds out of northern Syria, after weeks of increasing troops on the border.
Bolton’s claim that the U.S. expects Turkey to seek peace with the Kurds received a sharp rebuke from President Erdogan.
 “John Bolton has made a very serious mistake. Whoever thinks this way is also mistaken. We cannot make any concessions in this regard and those involved in a terror corridor will receive the necessary punishment,” Erdogan said.
The U.S. officials’ Mideast tour continued with a stop in Jordan today where Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attempted to reassure allies that a withdrawal of troops from Syria does not change the United States’ commitment to combatting Iran in the region.
The counter-Iran revolution…coalition is as effective today as it was yesterday and I’m very hopeful it will continue to be effective and even more effective tomorrow,” Pompeo said. “This is not just about a particular tactic that we take amongst the coalition.
In the meantime, Russian military police have started to patrol the area in northern Syria where U.S. troops are expected to leave with the claim that their goal is to provide security and to control the situation if clashes break out between opposing forces.
All the while, tensions continue to increase in the Middle East, and President Trump’s promise of a quick withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria becomes more distant with every condition that is added by his administration. 

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Rachel Blevins is a journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives.

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