Trump says USA will hurt Turkey economically if it hits Kurds

Pompeo Says The U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Syria Is Just A 'Tactical Change'

Pompeo confident of good outcome for Turkey and Kurds

Apart from that, the Kurds, an Iranian ethnic group, found in parts of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, make up the majority of US-allied fighters fighting in the Syrian civil war against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, CNN reported.

The speech sought to lay out the Trump administration's strategy for the Middle East and criticized former U.S. President Barack Obama, without naming him, for "fundamental misunderstandings" about the Middle East.

Trump unexpectedly announced last month that US forces would be leaving Syria, causing confusion and concern among USA allies.

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A USA defense official told Fox News on Friday that the US -led military coalition in Syria started the process of removing troops from the region, but wouldn't confirm further details for security purposes.

Trump announced on his Twitter page that U.S. troops in Syria are starting their pullout "while hitting the little remaining ISIS [Daesh*]' terrorists 'from many directions", adding that United States "will attack again from existing nearby base if it [Daesh terrorist group] reforms". He then added: "Likewise, do not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey".

Their exit has not just alarmed the nation's Kurds, but even Christians in the country are afraid of what could happen after the US troops leave, says Bassam Ishak, president of the Syriac National Council of Syria and a USA representative of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US -backed Kurdish group.

Mr Kalin also said: "It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the U.S. terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG". "We also benefit but it is now time to bring our troops back home".

"We stand to lose our way of life, we also stand to lose our property and our livelihood", said Ishak.

Turkey views some Kurdish groups as terrorist organisations operating in the region.

Pompeo discussed latest developments in Syria during a phone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on January 12.

Last month, Trump announced that he wanted U.S. troops out of Syria - a decision that resulted in the resignations of Defense Secretary James Mattis and Brett McGurk, the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter ISIS.

Media captionWas Trump right to say IS is beaten? "Morale is good" among diplomats, he said. "We will continue to fight against them all".

The secretary, who began his trip in Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday, is expected to visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait before returning to Washington.

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