The US will maintain military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring ISIS can not re-emerge, he announced. It was that vacuum that allowed ISIS and other terrorist organizations to wreak havoc on the country. Turkey considers the Syrian YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has fought a bloody insurgency in southeast Turkey for more than three decades. "It's in the national interests of the U.S. to maintain the military and diplomatic presence in Syria so that it can help ending the conflict in the country", he said.
Stressing that the US presence in Syria is illegitimate, the ministry said Syria would fight against all terror groups in Syria as well as any illegitimate foreign existence in the country. "We can not allow history to repeat itself in Syria", he said.
U.S. secretary of state has said recently that it would help the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, set up a new 30,000-strong border force.
A military statement said Turkish Gen. Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, would meet with Russia's military chief Valery Gerasimov to discuss regional security issues, developments in Syria and ongoing peace efforts for the war-torn country. As in the years before 9/11, Al Qaida is eager to create a sanctuary to plan and launch attacks on the West.
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USA troops completed a withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, eight years after they toppled Saddam Hussein's rule, only to return in much smaller numbers in 2014 to fight IS, which in 2014 seized large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria. Washington has 2,000 US ground forces in the country. "We are actively developing the best option to neutralize this threat in conjunction with allies and partners". It is also not seeking violent "regime change" or contemplating a long-term nation-building mission, he said.
Tillerson also urged Russian Federation to play a "meaningful" role in handling the Syria issue.
Rex Tillerson isn't on Twitter but he still can't ignore President Trump's tweets. "But the United States will continue to remain engaged". One of the ways Russian Federation can do that is to exert its unique leverage on the Syrian regime, which itself has agreed to participate in the Geneva process.
To that end, Washington will "vigorously" support the UN Geneva process for a political solution and urge Russian Federation to "put new levels of pressure" on the Syrian regime to credibly engage in the talks, stressed Tillerson.
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Syrian opposition member Hadi al-Bahra welcomed Tillerson's announcement but urged more details.
In Syria, the United States also is contending with disagreements with close partner Turkey.
Christopher Sparks is a veteran journalist who has worked for metropolitan and community newspapers in New York City, Washington, D.C., upstate New York and Florida.
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