Turkey boosts troops on Syria border after operation warning

A Turkish helicopter flies over Turkish soldiers and journalists as US and Turkish armoured vehicles take part in their first joint patrol

In a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, the senators said Trump's decision to pull back troops will severely harm USA strategic interests and reduce its influence in the region while strengthening Turkey, Russia and Iran.

US involvement in Syria has been fraught with peril since it started in 2014 with the insertion of small numbers of special operations forces to recruit, train, arm and advise local fighters in combat against the Islamic State.

"They have also been good to deal with, helping me to save many lives at Idlib Province, and returning, in very good health, at my request, Pastor Brunson, who had many years of a long prison term remaining", Trump stated, ambiguously adding that "he is coming to the US" on November 13 - presumably referring to Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The move was widely criticized, amid fears it would leave Kurdish fighters exposed to potential attacks from Turkey.

He said that the operation's goal is to clear Kurdish militias from the Syrian border with Turkey, create a security zone and accommodate Syrian refugees in the area.

Earlier, he wrote on Twitter that getting the United States out of wars was the reason he was elected, just hours after the White House announced American troops' withdrawal from their positions in northern Syria, adding that United States forces would not support the upcoming Turkish military operation in the Arab country.

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Trump threatened Turkey with economic collapse Monday should Ankara take action in Syria he deems "off limits", ahead of a planned operation in the country's northeast.

America's foes - Assad, Russia, and Iran - all stand to gain from a USA troop withdrawal and will likely bide their time until they can move in and retake the area.

"We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters", Trump tweeted.

Turkey, which considers Kurdish fighters in Syria terrorists and links them to a decades-old insurgency in Turkey, has already launched two major incursions into northern Syria over the past years.

The Pentagon, meanwhile, says it is still trying to talk Turkey out of invading northeastern Syria. The execution of that plan included dismantling some Kurdish defensive positions on the Syrian side of the border.

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