Turkey tells US not to leave power vacuum in Syria withdrawal

US President Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 American troops in Syria in December after saying they had defeated the Daesh militants. (AFP)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Turkey tells US not to leave power vacuum in Syria withdrawal

  • ‘We reminded our partners that there should be no vacuum of power in any way during the withdrawal’
  • Trump had ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops Syria in December after saying they had defeated Daesh militants in Syria

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s defense minister told Pentagon officials there must not be a vacuum of power during the withdrawal of US forces from Syria, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported on Saturday.
A senior US administration official said on Friday Washington would leave about 400 US troops split between two Syrian regions, a reversal by President Donald Trump that could pave the way for US allies to keep troops in Syria.
“We reminded our partners that there should be no vacuum of power in any way during the withdrawal,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Anadolu, describing his talks in the United States with acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
Trump had ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 US troops in December after saying they had defeated Daesh militants in Syria. The abrupt decision sparked an outcry from allies and US lawmakers.
But he was persuaded on Thursday that about 200 US troops would join what is expected to be a total commitment of some 800 to 1,500 troops from European allies to set up and observe a “safe zone” in northeastern Syria, the US administration official said.
Akar also said he repeated call for Kurdish YPG militia fighters, which Ankara regards as terrorists, to be removed from the “safe zone,” which Turkey wants to control.


Arab Parliament calls on UN and Arab League to classify Houthis as a terrorist group

Updated 31 min 40 sec ago
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Arab Parliament calls on UN and Arab League to classify Houthis as a terrorist group

  • The Parliament will vote on the draft resolution before submitting it to the UN and Arab League
  • The spokesperson called the Houthi attacks a war crime

DUBAI: The Arab Parliament revealed on Wednesday they are in the process of submitting a draft resolution, calling on the United Nations and Arab League to take a firm and immediate stance to classify the Iranian-backed Houthi militia as a terrorist group, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

The Parliament will vote on the draft resolution before presenting it to the secretary general of the UN and the Arab League’s secretary general, Meshaal bin Fahm Al-Sulami, spokesperson of the Arab Parliament, said.

The Parliament will not condone any group targeting civilian areas, such as Houthi attacks in neighboring countries like Saudi, he said.

These attacks are a war crime, Al-Sulami said.

He also mentioned that Houthi militias are threatening Yemeni MPs for attending Parliament sessions.

The announcement came during a press conference, as the latest session of the Parliament, headed by Al-Sulamai and in the presence of the speaker of the Yemeni Parliament, Sultan Al-Burkani, kicked off.

The Parliament’s session will focus on the current crises, challenges and developments in Arab countries, and will discuss the efforts of the Parliament to support joint Arab action against the dangers and threats facing the Arab national security.