United States will protect Kurds, no timetable for Syria withdrawal

Top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway seemed to hint that the US president might be planning to tweak his blueprint for a troop withdrawal from Syria

The tweeted comment came the day after a senior Republican senator said Trump had promised to stay in Syria to finish the job of destroying the Islamic State group - days after he shocked allies, and his own military establishment, by saying troops were coming home. "I share his goal to withdraw our forces from Syria; I just want to do it in a smart way, make sure Iran is not the big victor", Graham told reporters outside the White House.

"We want to protect the Kurds but I don't want to be in Syria forever".

"They can do what they want there, frankly", Trump said of Iran's presence in Syria. "To be able to leave Syria and make sure ISIS never comes back".

The Syrian regime said Wednesday hundreds of Kurdish fighters had withdrawn from Manbij near the border with Turkey, days after the Kurds appealed to Damascus for support against a threatened Turkish offensive. Earlier in the day, he said the removal of USA troops could leave Syrian Kurds at risk from both ISIS and Turkey.

"I think we're slowing things down in a smart way", Graham said, adding that Trump was very aware of the plight of the Kurds.

Kuwait's Deputy foreign minister Khaled Al-Jarallah said the Gulf state remained committed to the Arab League's decision and would reopen its embassy in Damascus once the organisation allowed it. "The pause is to assess the effects of the conditions on the ground".

On Monday, the Republican president said the United States was "slowly sending" troops home - a markedly different tone than he used in his initial announcement of a withdrawal on December 19.

Inter captain Icardi condemns racism following chants allegedly aimed at Napoli's Koulibaly
He explained that similar incidents also occur in " other civilised countries ". He wrote: "I am disappointed with what happened yesterday at San Siro ".

Critics not only warn of a resurgence of IS, but worry that the American exit is a betrayal of US -backed Kurdish forces in Syria and leaves them vulnerable to an attack from Turkish forces.

Trump responded to the question, saying, "Somebody said four months, but I didn't say that", before he continued on to criticize former President Barack Obama's weak stance on Syria, which had left him in a hard position.

On Wednesday, Trump made clear his frustration with the never-ending "war on terror" that has followed the September 11, 2001, attacks. "Now when I start getting out the Fake News Media, or some failed Generals who were unable to do the job before I arrived, like to complain about me & my tactics, which are working", Trump wrote on Twitter.

"The results are FAR BETTER than I ever said they were going to be!"

CNN reported that Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had communed with national security adviser, John R. Bolton, before the two men travel to Turkey and Israel.

Netanyahu said he was happy to meet Pompeo for the second time in a month, saying they had "a lot to discuss" about their "common aims".

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