Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Bolton to negotiate fate of Syria Kurds on Turkey visit

Bolton to negotiate fate of Syria Kurds on Turkey visit

White House national security adviser John Bolton added a new condition on Sunday to the US withdrawal from Syria, saying Turkey must agree to protect the United States' Kurdish allies.

"The Golan Heights is tremendously important for our security", Netanyahu said in Jerusalem, alongside U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday night, adding Israel "will never leave the Golan Heights", and stressed the gravity of all countries recognizing the region as Israeli territory.

Bolton told journalists travelling with him earlier in the day that conditions such as guarantees on the safety of Kurdish allies must be met before American troops are withdrawn from Syria, NBC News reported.

"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States", he said.

And Turkey's presidential spokesman, with whom Bolton will meet Tuesday, called allegations that his country planned to attack the US -allied Kurds in Syria "irrational" and said Turkey was fighting terrorism for national security.

President Donald Trump says U.S. troops will not completely withdraw from Syria until Islamic State militants there have been defeated.

Netanyahu's latest push, which comes on the heels of Trump's announcement that the U.S military will completely withdraw from Syria, has picked up both positive and negative reactions from experts and analysts.

Even though the resolution still passed with 151 votes in favor, 14 abstentions and only two votes against it - from the USA and Israel itself - the move still was met with thunderous applause in Tel Aviv. "Israel will remain forever on the Golan Heights, and the Golan Heights will forever remain in our hands", Netanyahu said at that time.

President Donald Trump accused The New York Times of "knowingly" writing a "very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria" in a tweet Monday. While the US has relied on Kurdish forces, known as the YPG, in the fight against ISIS, Turkey considers the group an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

If chemical weapons were to be used, "a lot of options would be on the table. if they don't heed the lessons of those two strikes the next one will be more telling", Bolton said.

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Bolton is expected to meet with Turkish officials, including the country's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday.

FILE - In this December 13, 2018 file photo, National Security Advisor John Bolton unveils the Trump Administration's Africa Strategy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

"We won't be finally pulled out until ISIS is gone", Trump said on Sunday.

The U.S. withdrawal from Syrian might not be as precipitous as it was originally described by President Trump.

Turkey reportedly demands USA air support for any efforts against Daesh in areas along Syria's border with Iraq.

Netanyahu also noted that the United States has also backed Israel's right to defend herself, "which we exercise constantly", he said.

United States national security advisor John Bolton has taken advantage of his visit to Israel to drive home some finer points of USA policy.

The Kurds enjoy strongholds in northeastern Syria and southern Turkey and have been integral to U.S. ground-fighting efforts in Syria. Mr Trump also said last month that IS had been "defeated".

Bolton on Sunday also toured the ancient tunnels beneath the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City. He toured archaeological excavations there, accompanied by the head of Israel's National Security Council, Meir Ben Shabat, and the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman.

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