Small Wars Journal

Bolton Says U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Is Conditional

Sun, 01/06/2019 - 9:15am

Bolton Says U.S. Withdrawal From Syria Is Conditional by Vivian Salama – Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration won’t withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria unless Turkey offers a firm commitment not to target America’s Kurdish allies, White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday, underscoring the challenges in executing the president’s wishes to put an end to the military campaign.


Mr. Bolton will travel to the Turkish capital on Monday as part of a regional tour aimed at laying the groundwork for the withdrawal. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem on Sunday, he said that Mr. Trump’s order to withdraw U.S. troops is a “cause and effect mission” that requires certain assurances from various players in the region before it can be executed.


“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,” he said. “It’s not the establishment of an arbitrary point for the withdrawal to take place as President Obama did in the Afghan situation...the timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”


He said that Mr. Trump has told Mr. Erdogan that withdrawal is pending assurances that Turkey will protect Kurdish fighters who have long provided the U.S. with solid support in the campaign against Islamic State militants…

Read on.