Jan 07 2019

Syrian Kurds waiting on U.S. clarification over details of withdrawal

Following contradictory statements from Washington regarding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, Syrian Kurds are looking for answers on how Washington will implement its plan to leave the region, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

When U.S. President Donald Trump made the announcement that 2000 American forces would be pulling out of Syria in December, there was an expectation that this would take place by mid-January. However, a statement by U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday, that U.S. troops will eliminate what remains of Islamic State before leaving northeastern Syria, has left Kurdish groups in the region confused, Deutsche Welle said. 

Spokesman for the autonomous Kurdish-majority region of Rojava Badran Ciya Kurd said that Syria’s Kurds are awaiting clarifications from the U.S. as they have  Kurds not been informed of any change in the U.S. position and were in the dark about Bolton’s latest comments.

"Turkey forms a greater threat against Kurdish existence than ISIS and all other international terrorist groups,’’ Deutsche Welle quoted Kurd as saying.

Kurdish officials have spoken to Moscow and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government about protection against Turkey, which announced a third military operation into Syria last month, targeting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara designates a terrorist organisation.

The YPG has played a pivotal role in the U.S. war against ISIS in the region.

Bolton on Sunday said the U.S. has asked the Kurds to “stand fast now” and allow Washington to continue negotiations.

The U.S. National Security Advisor arrived in Ankara on Monday to discuss the fate of Kurds in the region and is expected to press Turkey for assurances that it won’t attack the Kurdish fighters in the region.