Turkey reinforcing Syrian border: DHA

Turkey reinforcing Syrian border: DHA

Paris has strongly criticized US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US forces, arguing that the IS fight is not over.

"An uncoordinated USA withdrawal may leave a void that would be filled by Daesh, the Syrian regime or Iranian militias", Hariri warned on Twitter, using an Arabic acronym to refer to the Islamic State group.

In a weekly cabinet meeting Sunday, the prime minister declared the decision will not change the Israeli policy of acting militarily against the Iranian presence in Syria, Ravid reported.

Gen. Mattis, 68, was one of Mr. Trump's first Cabinet picks and has spent almost two years at the Pentagon.

The Turkish presidency said Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump in a phone call on Sunday agreed to establish military and diplomatic coordination to prevent an authority vacuum from developing as the United States withdraws.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the reinforcements were sent to the Manbij frontline, where USA troops have been based.

Trump's unexpected decision last week to withdraw the 2,000 American forces fighting in Syria has drawn substantial criticism from European allies as well as Republican and Democratic politicians in Washington.

The US said the Islamic State (IS) group had been defeated, a claim disputed by allies and US politicians.

A senior Kurdish politician on Friday called on France to play a larger role in Syria following the USA withdrawal.

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The "heavily expanded trade" between Turkey and the USA was also discussed during the call, Trump added.

The conversation between the two leaders came amid activity at the Turkish-Syrian border, with Ankara sending reinforcements to the region.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the reinforcements were sent to the front line with Manbij, where USA troops have been based.

It also posted photos of military vehicles said to be arriving in the area.

The same year Turkey conducted an operation against IS, which also aimed to block the YPG from joining up the territory it held in northern Syria, and staged an offensive against the militia in its northwestern enclave of Afrin in January this year.

After claiming a victory in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), the Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it started pulling US troops back from Syria without revealing any detailed timetable.

On Sunday, U.S. troops based around Manbij patrolled the town and surrounding area and were photographed speaking with the residents.

Ties have been particularly strained in recent years over the U.S. presence in Syria supporting a Kurdish militia fighting against the Islamic State group.

Youssef Hammoud, spokesperson for the Syrian opposition fighters, accused the US -backed Kurdish militia of reaching out to the Syrian government to replace USA troops if they withdraw.