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Ankara, Turkey -- U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived Monday in Turkey for negotiations on the fate of American-allied Kurdish fighters, who said they were unclear what to make of his recent comments about U.S. plans to withdraw troops from Syria. The Kurdish militiamen and women were central to the U.S. military's fight against ISIS in Syria, and many saw President Trump's recent announcement of a pull-out as potentially putting those allies at risk.
The president's sudden announcement that all 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria were coming home -- the timetable for which Bolton has since slowed down and qualified -- raised fears that Turkey could launch an assault on the Kurdish fighters, whom the Turks consider terrorists. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, as an extension of a Kurdish insurgency within its own borders.
Bolton - Assurances - Turkey - NATO - Ally
Bolton will seek assurances from Turkey, a NATO ally, that it won't attack the Kurds when the U.S. withdraws troops from northeastern Syria. Monday's visit comes just one day after Bolton said such guarantees were a "condition" of the pullout President Trump ordered last month.
Bolton, on a visit to Israel Sunday, said U.S. troops would not leave northeastern Syria until ISIS militants are defeated and the Kurdish fighters are protected. The comments appeared to put the brakes on the withdrawal announced by Mr. Trump in December, initially expected...
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