U.S. wants Turkey to promise not to kill Kurds in Syria after its pull-out
Updated 21:05, 09-Jan-2019
White House national security adviser John Bolton added a new condition on Sunday to the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, saying Turkey must agree to protect the United States' Kurdish allies.
President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to announce a U.S. pull-out from Syria left many questions, chiefly whether Kurdish fighters operating in northern Syria would now be targeted by their long-time enemy, Turkey.
During a four-day trip to Israel and Turkey, Bolton said he would stress that the Kurds must be safeguarded in talks with Turkish officials, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"We don't think the Turks ought to undertake military action that's not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they don't endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president's requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered," Bolton told reporters ahead of talks with Israeli officials.
Bolton, who will travel to Turkey on Monday, said the United States will talk to Turkey to find out what its objectives and capabilities were.
But Bolton said Trump's position is Turkey may not kill the Kurds and that the U.S. withdrawal would not take place without an agreement on that.
In response, Erdogan's spokesman said on Sunday that it was irrational to claim Turkey would target the Kurds, saying Ankara's targets were the militants of ISIL and the Kurdish groups, YPG and PKK.
Ibrahim Kalin's comments were reported by Turkey's state-owned Anadolu news agency. 
(Top image: In this file photo taken on November 27, 2018, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC. U.S. /VCG Photo)
Source(s): Reuters