Pompeo says good outcome possible for both Turkey and Syrian Kurds

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Syria war On the frontline with US troops fighting IS

Turkey has said its military offensive against the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria hinges on its own decision, regardless of anyone's permission.

Turkey had reacted angrily to suggestions that Trump's plan to withdraw troops was conditional on the safety of the US-backed Kurdish fighters, seen by the Turkish government as terrorists.

ISTANBUL- President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Monday Turkey expected the United States to honor their strategic partnership after U.S. President Donald Trump warned it would devastate Turkey economically if they attack a Kurdish militia in Syria.

Trump's decision to leave Syria, which he initially said would be rapid but later slowed down, shocked US allies and angered the Kurds in Syria, who are vulnerable to attack by Turkey.

US Colonel Sean Ryan, a coalition spokesman, said the coalition "has begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal from Syria".

"Turkey fights against terrorists, not Kurds".

"Turkey expects the USA to honour our strategic partnership and doesn't want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda".

"Bolton made a serious mistake". "We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home".

Seeking to quell concern about the USA troop withdrawal from Syria, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday described the American exit as a "tactical change" in military strategy that wouldn't deter efforts to defeat ISIS or hurt US interests in the region.

Since then, USA officials have given mixed messages. "We will be like second-class citizens at best, if we survive as Syriac Christians and Kurds". He said many details around the troop withdrawal still need to be ironed out, but that he was optimistic a "good outcome" could be reached between Turkey and Kurdish groups in Syria.

What has Mike Pompeo said?

"We hope we can turn the corner here", Pompeo added.

Earlier this week, an administration official told CNN that the first U.S. military ground equipment has been withdrawn from the war-torn country.

Last month, Trump announced that he wanted United States troops out of Syria - a decision that resulted in the resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS. Washington and Ankara also sparred over the fate of American Presbyterian minister Andrew Brunson, who was convicted in Turkey of aiding terrorism, and who Ankara was forced to extradite after Trump exerted unprecedented economic pressure.

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