The withdrawal of US troops from northeasternSyria would take place in a manner that “absolutely assured” the security of Israel and other US allies in the Middle East, a top adviser to President Donald Trump has said.
John Bolton made the pledge on Sunday, hours after conditioning the US troop pullout from Syria on the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), as well as assurances from Turkey over the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.
Speaking to reporters leading up to talks with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bolton said the pullout would be done in a way that guaranteed the ISIL “is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again”.
And it would be carried out in such a way as to “make sure that the defence of Israel and our other friends in the region is absolutely assured, and to take care of those who have fought with us against ISIS and other terrorist groups,” he said.
The pullout announced on December 19 was initially expected to be completed within weeks, but the timetable has slowed as the president acceded to requests from aides, allies and members of US Congress for a more orderly withdrawal.