Çavuşoğlu, Pompeo discuss US withdrawal from Syria

Published 21.01.2019 20:29
Updated 21.01.2019 22:33
Çavuşoğlu, Pompeo discuss US withdrawal from Syria

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo discussed recent developments in Syria and U.S. troop withdrawal from the country during a phone call Monday, Turkish diplomatic sources said.

The U.S. State Department, for its part, said the secretary of state reiterated Washington's commitment to addressing Turkish security concerns along the Turkey-Syria border.

Pompeo also emphasized the "importance that the United State places on the protection of forces that worked with the United States and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS," Spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a statement, using another name for Daesh.

"They discussed ongoing U.S.-Turkish engagement as part of the deliberate and coordinated withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria," Palladino added.

Tensions in Syria have been high after the U.S. declared its decision to withdraw troops.

A restaurant in northern Syria's Manbij was rocked by an explosion on Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and injuring many others.

In a phone call on Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his U.S. counterpart Trump that the terror attack in Manbij was a provocation to hinder U.S. withdrawal from Syria. He also extended condolences for slain American personnel.

Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.

The attack killed two U.S. soldiers, one Department of Defense civilian and a contractor, the Pentagon confirmed hours after the explosion.

Manbij town and its surrounding area have been controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorist group, since August 2016 after ousting Deash terrorists who captured the town from moderate opposition in January 2014.

Manbij is one of the two areas controlled by the SDF/YPG on the right bank of the Euphrates River, with the other being the area including the town of Tabqah in central Syria.

Turkey strongly opposes YPG's presence in Manbij and reached a deal with the U.S. in June to end the terrorist group's presence in the town and conduct joint patrols.

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