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 withdrawal comes ahead of a possible Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria against the YPG/PKK terrorist group.
This frame grab from video released Wednesday June 28, 2017, by ANHA news agency, that is consistent with AP reporting, shows Brett McGurk, left, the top USA envoy for the worldwide coalition combating IS, leaving after a visit to Syria.
Among officials' key concerns is that a USA pullout will leave US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces vulnerable to attacks by Turkey, the Syrian government and remaining IS fighters. Turkey has been restrained from moving into Syria's Kurdish-controlled northeast in the past by the presence of USA troops.
AP reported, citing Turkish and United States officials, that Trump was provided with "talking points", according to which he should have opposed a looming Turkish invasion in Syria and offered Turkey "something that's a small win, possibly holding territory on the border" in return.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint press conference with the Iranian President at the Turkish presidential complex in Ankara on December 20, 2018. "But they can not ensure that Turkey will never attack Rojava, northern Syria, or any part of Syria". "I couldn't say this before... that Israel is a major reason for the decline of the Islamic State".
McGurk was briefly considered for the post of ambassador to Iraq after having served as a senior official covering Iraq and Afghanistan during President George W. Bush's administration. "We are done", Trump reportedly told Erdogan.
In June, Turkey and the US agreed on a Manbij roadmap, which included US-Turkish forces patrolling the demarcation line. Foley was kidnapped on November 22, 2012, in northern Syria.
This is an ominous warning, and from the standpoint of geopolitics, if a crisis ever occurs, it will have huge ramifications for geopolitics - especially on the USA capacity to project military power and even apply odious sanctions on other countries like Iran.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that he "very deeply regrets the decision made on Syria", adding that "an ally should be dependable", in a sharp criticism of Trump.
USA ships have fired flares and warning shots to drive off IRGC boats that made what were viewed as threatening approaches after refusing to heed radio warnings in the passageway for 35 percent of the world's seaborne petroleum exports.
France has 200 special forces soldiers operating in Syria's Kurdish northeast as well as artillery units, part of an anti-IS worldwide coalition trying to root out remaining pockets of militant fighters.
The only discouraging aspects of Trump's moves are that the Neocon and Neoliberal denizens of the U.S. Congress and government, especially the corrupt Democratic Party opposition, are angry about the withdrawal and will use it to make Trump look foolish.
As well as mounting airstrikes, British commandos have been deployed in northern Syria. AAP The Islamic State movement has claimed credit for a slew of bloody attacks around the world, including the 2015 coordinated assault on Paris, and experts estimate that thousands of sympathizers remain.
Despite progress, including capturing the town of Hajin, the offensive there have been episodic reversals with IS mounting mobile counter-attacks under the cover of winter sandstorms and fog, say British and American officials.
In some of the most notable cases, USA aircraft shot down two Iranian-made drones in June.
The military offensive against ISIS is still ongoing in Syria where the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the global coalition, is engaging militants on the frontlines in the Hajin area of Deir ez-Zor province.
Previously, Ankara said that local forces could be used to fight Daesh instead of the YPG, which has separatist plans in Syria. "You don't just declare victory". There is a fear they will shift to guerrilla tactics in an attempt to rebuild their network. "The organization has now changed trajectory, its overt insurgency devolving back into covert asymmetric warfare".
Days later, special envoy McGurk made a similar move, saying he could not support Trump's Syria decision that he said "left our coalition partners confused and our fighting partners bewildered".
Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 News has claimed in an article on Axios news website on December 20 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected "an unofficial proposal for a deal between the US and Russian Federation on Syria and Iran meant to start a wider dialogue between Washington and Moscow to improve relations". We discussed ISIS, our mutual involvement in Syria, & the slow & highly coordinated pullout of USA troops from the area.
But President Trump, who has long favored a USA withdrawal from the Middle East, has received praise from some quarters.