U.S.’ Bolton, Turkey’s Kalın discuss Syria withdrawal, buffer zone in phone call
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton and Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın on Tuesday discussed recent developments in Syria, including Washington’s withdrawal from the war-torn country and the implementation of a buffer zone in Syria’s north, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The two officials agreed to continued coordination in process of the U.S. withdrawal from Syria in a telephone conversation, it said.
Kalın and Bolton also agreed on the importance of implementing the Manbij roadmap in addition to discussing U.S. President Donald Trump's planned visit to Ankara, Anadolu noted.
Trump, on Dec. 19, announced an immediate withdrawal of troops from Syria; however, has yet to give a specific timeline for the pullout.
The U.S. president's surprise announcement came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that Turkey was preparing for a third cross-border operation into neighbouring Syria, targeting the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Ankara has vowed to destroy the YPG, which has formed the backbone of the U.S. war on the the Islamic State (ISIS) in the region.
Erdoğan on Monday said Turkey would soon clear all ISIS remnants in the region in line with Trump’s announcement that Washing to leaving the task of eradicating “whatever is left of ISIS (Islamic State) in Syria,” to Ankara.
Meanwhile, Trump and Erdoğan have agreed to set up what they said would be a 20-mile safe zone inside Syria along the Turkish border, however, details of the implementation of the buffer zone have not been determined.