Kurdish fighters withdraw from Manbij: Syria

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"I campaigned against the NEVER ENDING WARS, remember!" he added. "We're not talking about vast wealth, we're talking about sand and death".

Jarallah expected a "thaw in relations between Syria and Arab Gulf states in the coming days as more nations look to reopen their embassies in Damascus", state news agency KUNA reported.

"Somebody said four months, but I didn't say that, either", he said.

"We're going to discuss the intense cooperation between Israel and the United States, which will also deal with the questions following the decision, the American decisions on Syria, on how to intensify even further our intelligence and operations cooperation in Syria and elsewhere to block Iranian aggression in the Middle East", Netanyahu said.

President Trump defends his decision to begin troop withdrawal from Syria amid the administration's success in the fight against the Islamic State group.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, mostly devoted to domestic issues, President Donald Trump made an important statement about the United States posture in the Middle East: he will protect the Kurds in Syria, as he withdraws troops from that country.

In contrast to previously emphatic victory declarations, Trump said that "ISIS is mostly gone".

"I think we're in a pause situation", the South Carolina Republican said outside the White House after lunch with the President. Slow this down. Make sure that we get it right.

Military officials have declined to specify the timing of the departure, partly for operational security reasons and partly because many details are still quite fluid, and officials recognize that Trump could change his mind at any moment and speed up the departure.

"They can do what they want there, frankly", Trump said of Iran's presence in Syria.

"I didn't like the fact that they [YPG] are selling the small oil that they have to Iran", Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in front of reporters.

They will not, however, abandon the Kurds, he added, reasoning that the Kurdish forces fight better when they have U.S. fire power backing them up.

Kurdish Syrian forces at the weekend asked the Assad Government for protection against a Turkish attack on a flashpoint town.

For a president who has looked to the military for affirmation throughout his campaign and presidency and boasted about stocking his Cabinet with what he called "my generals", his decision December 19 to withdraw quickly from Syria was a significant split from his military and civilian advisers. "That's why we need a forward-deployed force in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan for a while to come".

The announcement was directly followed by the resignation of defence secretary Jim Mattis, whose resignation letter criticised Mr Trump's foreign policies and his treatment of military allies.

"He has not reversed his decision", Graham said. The State Department's Syria team led by James Jeffrey and Joel Rayburn and the president's national security adviser John Bolton are advocating a slow pullout, and the Pentagon is preparing a list of options for the president.