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Erdogan will 'eradicate' remnant IS in Syria, claims Trump

25 December 2018

While defending his decision to force Defense Secretary James Mattis out ahead of schedule, U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said that Saudi Arabia has agreed to replace the United States in helping rebuild Syria.

That drew a critical tweet from Trump on Monday.

Trump's surprise decision to withdraw troops from Syria was also announced last week after a call with Erdogan.

Major players in and around Syria have started positioning their forces as discussions get under way on how to proceed once US forces vacate the country and their fight against the last remnants of the Islamic State terror group's self-proclaimed caliphate.

Earlier on Monday, amid a storm of tweets from a Trump who is, "all alone (poor me) in the White House", the president continued to rail against the former American diplomat.

Manbij, a town in northern Syria, has been a flashpoint between Turkish forces and Kurdish militias.

"We will continue our operations with the global coalition, continue training, and maintain security and stability as long as this partnership continues", he said.

The SDF, meanwhile, continue to battle ISIS, who has stepped up its attacks in recent days, a direct consequences of Trump's announcement, said spokesperson Kino Gabriel.

"Increased engagement from our friends, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, and others can ensure that Iran does not profit from the eradication of [IS]".

Turkey vows to take on US-backed Kurdish militia in Syria
The official said the positions were clearly marked and any force attacking them "would definitely know they are attacking the United States ".

Kalin said there would be further talks between the two countries' foreign ministries and other departments including a meeting planned in Washington on January 8. But the move was lauded by Turkey.

Erdogan also stressed Turkey was prepared to provide all kinds of support to the U.S., its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, within North Atlantic Treaty Organisation framework, Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Some might be relieved to see him go if they are now freer to push publicly for their agendas, the official said.

Reports from the region indicate other forces are also on the move as they, too, prepare for the US troop withdrawal. "Our troops are coming home!"

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed Turkish reinforcements have been sent to the front line near Manbij, where United States troops have been based.

Allaying some of Turkey's fears was a deal reached in June according to which US and Turkish troops would patrol the area around the Syrian town of Manbij.

McGurk resigned amid the fallout in Washington from Trump's recent, abrupt decision to withdraw USA troops from Syria and declaration on Twitter that, "we have defeated ISIS". We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of USA troops from the area.

Trump tweeted also on Thursday that Mattis will retire "with distinction" at the end of February, an announcement the Pentagon later confirmed by publishing its chief's resignation letter, implying entrenched divergences with Trump.

Erdogan will 'eradicate' remnant IS in Syria, claims Trump