US withdraws forces from observation post in Syria
The U.S. on Oct. 13 withdrew its forces from military observation post south of Ayn Al-Arab in northern Syria, according to security sources.
The U.S. started to withdraw from Ayn Al-Arab, also known as Kobani, at 15:00 p.m. local time [1200GMT].
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said that the U.S. is preparing to evacuate about 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria.
Esper said that President Donald Trump had directed U.S. troops in northern Syria to begin pulling out “as safely and quickly as possible.”
The decision came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would pull back its forces from the Syrian border after a telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Trump urges Europe to take ISIL prisoners back
Trump on Oct. 13 called on European countries to take ISILprisoners back to their country of origins.
“Europe should have taken them back after numerous requests. They should do it now,” said Trump on Twitter.
“The U.S. has the worst of the ISIS prisoners,” he said, using another acronym for ISIL.
“Turkey and the Kurds must not let them escape,” said Trump.
“They will never come to, or be allowed in, the United States,” he added.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
On Oct. 12, Turkey's defense minister said that targeting the U.S. observation point in Syria was out of question during the ongoing counter-terror operation.
Amid its ongoing anti-terror operation in northern Syria, Turkey said on Oct. 12 it will assume the responsibility of Daesh elements held in detention centers in northern Syria falling inside Turkey’s newly launched operation east of the Euphrates River.
Turkey will undertake surveillance of the ISIL elements in detention centers and their families in camps located in the areas to be cleared of YPG/PKK terrorists, the Foreign Ministry said.
Erdoğan discussed the issue with his U.S. counterpart Trump over phone, it noted.
The sustainable solution could be achieved if foreign terrorist fighters and their families in Syria were to be returned to their countries of origin, put on a trial and rehabilitated, it added.
Ankara wants to eliminate terrorist elements of the PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG, from the region.
The U.S.-backed SDF, a group dominated by the YPG, has been controlling some 28 percent of the Syrian territories, including the most of the 911-kilometer-long Syria-Turkey border. Turkey deems the YPG the Syrian offshoot of the illegal PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization also by the United States and the EU.