President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that the United States has begun withdrawing from Syria.
“Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions," Trump wrote. “Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone.”
The president also warned the Kurds not to antagonize Turkey in a continuation of his tweet.
“Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey,” the president wrote. “Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term U.S. policy of destroying ISIS in Syria - natural enemies. We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS!”
CNN has reported that Trump's December 19 announcement that American forces would leave "now" has caused confusion and concern among U.S. allies in the Middle East.
Kurds say there has been a blow to their morale as they seek protection by strengthening other alliances, while Arab allies, sensing a loss of US leverage on Syria, are seeking to improve ties with Damascus.
Strains in relations with Turkey have also increased over American demands that Kurds be protected, according to CNN.
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