Turkey: Pointless for France to Remain in Syria to Protect YPG

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

Turkey has massed reinforcements at the border, and dispatched tanks and armoured vehicles near Manbij, which hosts American troops and where Ankara says Kurdish forces also remain present.

The deployment was coordinated with the US-backed militia in Manbij, the spokesman for the Manbij Military Council said.

Defense Secretary James Mattis and the special presidential envoy to the ISIS coalition resigned over the decision.

One U.S. official said last week that a final decision has not been made regarding the air campaign support in Syria, adding that he did not rule out "some kind of support for partners and allies".

Then President Donald Trump yielded to a suggestion from Erdogan to pull USA forces from Syria, where they have been fighting Islamic State., shocking even those in his inner circle and leading to the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

But Erdogan has previously said Ankara will intervene in the coming months against IS and the YPG, telling Trump on Sunday that Turkey would "eradicate" the last elements.

Ankara's ties with its Western allies in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation have been strained over a range of issues.

If Turkey were to fight ISIS alone and then left the battles to Syrian Arab proxies, "militarily weaker" than the extremists, it would not be very effective, Khatib said.

"There will be intensive traffic" between officials, he added, a day after Trump and Erdogan held a telephone conversation agreeing to coordinate the Syria pull-out.

Turkish specialists believe that Turkey has extensive experience in the past in dealing with IS in Syria and would make good use of the know-how that has acquired.

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"We assume that any positive changes on the ground in Syria can only yield a long-term positive effect if they are reinforced by substantial progress on the political settlement track based on respect for Syria's unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty", the diplomat stressed.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at a briefing for domestic media that Turkey aimed to cross to the east of the Euphrates as soon as possible, the Hurriyet newspaper said, without giving further details.

Kalin also said Turkey planned to work closely with Russia on the future of Syria, sentiments echoed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Erdogan's spokesperson said on Monday that U.S. military officials will come to Turkey this week to discuss coordination on Syria.

"The battle will soon start", Major Youssef Hamoud, spokesman for the National Army, the main Turkish-backed Syrian opposition force near Manbij, told Reuters.

"IS can regroup and retain some of the territories it had lost".

USA partners have warned that a premature American withdrawal will allow IS to storm back.

In getting on the front lines of the fight against jihadists, Turkey could risks of being targeted once again by terrorist attacks on its own soil.

"We have paid attention also to the announcement by the American government on the coming withdrawal of half of the contingent of U.S. forces from Afghanistan". Turkey is an active member of the Global Coalition Against Daesh and is co-chairing Counter-Daesh Coalition Working Group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters.

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