U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has stated that American forces would not vacate Syria until Turkey could guarantee that the countries’ northern Kurds would be protected.
This could signify an adjustment to President Trump’s quick decision to withdraw troops from the area, a move that when originally announced led to the resignation of former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.
Yet Bolton has now announced that Trump is looking for assurance from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that American allies will be protected.
Bolton said that, “there are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal.”
“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that is not fully co-ordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered,” he added.
Bolton also noted that while President Trump and said that troops would be “coming back now,” there was no official timeframe to remove troops.
“This is a cause and effect mission. Timetables or the timing of the withdrawal occurs as a result of the fulfillment of the conditions and the establishment of the circumstances that we want to see. And once that’s done, then you talk about a timetable,” said Bolton.
“The primary point is we are going to withdraw from northeastern Syria,” he continued.
“So it’s going to be a different environment after we leave, there is no question about that. But there is no desire to see Iran’s influence spread that’s for sure.”