US Syria pointman to also serve as anti-ISIS envoy

Gardaí say the man was known to them in the context of the monitoring of individuals sympathetic to radical causes

Gardaí say the man was known to them in the context of the monitoring of individuals sympathetic to radical causes

U.S. president Donald Trump said in December that he was withdrawing USA troops from Syria, where he claimed Isis had been defeated.

He told reporters there was no timetable for a USA withdrawal from Syria but that there was not an unlimited commitment. "The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement".

Just this week the president was contradicted by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who said IS was not defeated by "a long way".

But Mr Trump seemed to row back last week when he said troops were being pulled out "slowly" and that they would be fighting remaining IS militants at the same time. The 35-year-old, who reportedly went by the alias Abu Zaid al-Ameriki, does not appear to have been one of the fighters, mainly US citizens and legal residents, who had been identified in the Program on Extremism report.

President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to announce a USA pullout from Syria left many questions open, chiefly whether Kurdish fighters who had been operating in northern Syria alongside US forces would now be attacked by their long-time enemy, Turkey.

John Bolton's comments, reported by the Associated Press, contradict Trump's mid-December promise to bring troops home from Syria "now", an announcement that surprised allies and advisers, sparked an outcry from lawmakers, and prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. 'That's what the president said, the ones that fought with us'. "It left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered".

Trump's move has raised fears over clearing the way for a Turkish assault on Kurdish fighters in Syria who fought alongside American troops against IS extremists.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK, which regularly clashes with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated southeast of Turkey.

"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", he told reporters in Israel. In light of the civil war in Syria, Israel has in recent years stepped up its calls on friendly governments to recognize that Israel will never return the strategically important territory to the Assad regime, but so far not even one country has done so.

The Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) said that two British soldiers were badly wounded in an attack by ISIS.

Bolton added the effort will not be a complete withdrawal, but will rather focus on northeastern Syria where most of the estimated 2,000 troops are located while leaving some in southern Syria.

It should be noted that the number of the US military contingent in Afghanistan is 14,000.

Nonetheless, the plans and assurances the national security adviser offered in Israel were confirmation that withdrawal plans are on hold until conditions on the ground match the president's stated assessment of the situation in Syria. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who is normally a close ally of the president, have said a quick withdrawal would be a mistake, in part because it could leave the region vulnerable to a possible ISIS resurgence.

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