Turkish-Backed Fighters Preparing to Replace US Forces in Syria

Putin Welcomes Trump's Syria Withdrawal: 'Donald's Right'

President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria has triggered alarm among the largely Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

"President Erdogan invited President Trump to visit Turkey in 2019".

Ankara believes its forces supporting Syrian opposition fighters will now have a freer rein to target Kurdish fighters from the US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG).

Sherfane Darwish, a spokesman for the Manbij Military Council - a faction affiliated to the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces - has said his forces are on a "state of alert" due to military movements by Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies. Turkey views the YPG militia as a sister "terrorist" organisation of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

In fact, Mr Trump's decision to pull out was apparently triggered by a phone call from Turkey's President Erdogan during which the US President was expected to persuade his Turkish counterpart to hold off on any offensive against the SDF.

Following Wednesday's unexpected and dramatic full and "immediate" withdrawal of all US forces from Syria, Turkey has announced it will not play ball on Iran sanctions.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara will intervene in the coming months against ISIS and the YPG.

"Turkey does not now have a Syrian rebel force that is large enough, experienced enough, or legitimate enough to hold eastern Syria, and it would take many months, even with USA support, for Turkey to amass such a force", he added.

Trump speaks with Erdogan on phone over Syria
But the potential for criminal charges over a slew of corruption allegations could finish the Israeli PM's political career. Ultra-Orthodox parties consider conscription a taboo, fearing that military service will lead to immersion in secularism.

Russian Federation has reportedly made a similar offer to the Syrian Kurds who are facing a planned attack by Turkey.

"Thus Turkey can repeat this positive experience in the east of the Euphrates and clear the remaining last pockets of IS in a large area right up to Hajin", a city in eastern Syria that has become a hub for jihadists, Acun added.

Trump announced last week that he intends to withdraw the U.S. troops, who have been part of a coalition battling the Islamic State, claiming victory over the terror group. "It is incumbent upon Turkey to develop a strategy for the post-conflict Syria and assume a major role in the country's reconstruction".

But despite the multi-billion-dollar weapons sale, hawks in Congress and in the president's own administration will use Erdogan's Thursday announcement to "stand by Iran" as fodder for arguing against bringing the troops home, and continuing Syria ground operations in order to counter Iranian expansion.

Turkish officials have previously said Ankara has no territorial ambitions in Syria.

The White House, in confirming Erdogan extended the invitation, said there are no "definite" plans for a trip yet.

Jarabulus and Al-Bab were areas captured from IS during Ankara's first military operation in August 2016 which lasted until March previous year.

"This would also make Turkey vulnerable to revenge attacks by ISIS".

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