Alaska senators condemn Trump administration's US troop withdrawal from Syria

Syrian Democratic Forces and U.S. troops near the Turkish border in Hasakah Syria last November

French forces have carried out operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria since September 2014.

It is time to establish a safe zone in northern Syria, Oktay stressed, and added that Turkey will clear terrorists that threaten its southern border and create an opportunity for Syrians in Turkey to return home.

Trump this week declared that USA troops will step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Syrian Kurds, longtime US allies against the Islamic State group.

The comment came a day after Trump said the United States would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks' economy if they went too far.

US officials told The Associated Press that Turkish troops on Tuesday were massed along the border in apparent preparation for an incursion across the border.

More than 1,000 USA troops are now deployed in northeastern Syria but will not longer be present during the invasions. The execution of that plan included dismantling some Kurdish defensive positions on the Syrian side of the border.

According to USA officials, Turkish troops on Tuesday were massed along the border in apparent preparation for an incursion across the border.

"Despite continued misreporting to the contrary, Secretary Esper and Chairman Milley were consulted over the last several days by the President regarding the situation and efforts to protect U.S. forces in northern Syria in the face of military action by Turkey", the Defense Department's chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.

Kurdish forces have some air defenses, such as shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles, but would be outgunned by the Turks.

Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to a meeting in Washington, November.

Trump has boasted about USA success in defeating the so-called Islamic State, but his critics now accuse him of abandoning a US ally, setting the Kurds up to be killed. He claims Turkey faces devastation if there is "unnecessary fighting" against them. Trump on Monday said he was fulfilling a campaign promise to withdraw from "endless war" in the Middle East, and he warned Turkey that he would ruin its economy if any American personnel are harmed. He defended Ankara as a big US trading partner, saying it supplies steel for F-35 fighter jets.

Contrary to what many critics of the move say, the U.S. has "in no way..."

The United States expects Turkey to take responsibility of captive fighters of the militant Islamic State group, a senior State Department official said on Monday, if Ankara's planned incursion into northeast Syria seizes areas where the detained militants are held.

Trump also says Turkey is a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member in "good standing".

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have pledged to fight back against any Turkish assault, raising the potential for an eruption of new warfare in Syria.

Oktay said: "Where Turkey's security is concerned, we determine our own path but we set our own limits".



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