Trump warns Turkey against attacking Kurds

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The US withdrawal has begun with shipments of military equipment, according to US defence officials.

President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted that the "long overdue pullout from Syria" is starting, and threatened that the us will "devastate Turkey economically" if they attack Kurdish forces in the war-torn country.

Colonel Sean Ryan, the coalition spokesman, said: "The SDF is making great progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS (Islamic State), but the fight continues. We will not compromise", Erdoğan said. "We are confident we can achieve an outcome that achieves both of those".

The Turkish government has said Kurdish fighters are linked to a group that has been mounting an insurgency against the Turkish state for decades.

"We will confirm that there has been no redeployment of military personnel from Syria to date", said Navy Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman.

A USA defense official told Fox News on Friday that the US -led military coalition in Syria started the process of removing troops from the region, but wouldn't confirm further details for security purposes.

Robertson, in his statement, said the coalition had carried out "logistical measures" to support a withdrawal but did not enter into details.

Asked about SDF progress, the spokesman for the US -led coalition, Colonel Sean Ryan, said: "The SDF is making great progress and continues to liberate more territory once held by ISIS (Islamic State), but the fight continues".

The Kurds have sought Russian meditation for the talks with President Bashar al-Assad's government, part of their strategy to fill a vacuum that will be left when U.S. forces withdraw.

Erdogan said Bolton was making a "serious mistake".

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Hazmat and fire crews are seen outside the Indian and French Consulates on St Kilda Road with evacuated workers on the street. There were no immediate reports of any of the consulate staff being harmed in the incidents.

At the same time, Trump urged the Kurd-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the United States trained and armed for years, not to "provoke" Turkey.

But Trump's announcement in December raised fears of a long-threatened Turkish assault against the Kurdish fighters.

Turkey, however, regards the People's Protection Units (YPG) as terrorists.

Just because a "couple thousand uniform personnel" will be leaving Syria, Pompeo said, doesn't mean that US interests have changed.

"We also know that those fighting alongside us for all this time deserve to be protected as well", he added. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Mr Kalin also said: "It is a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK, which is on the United States terrorists list, and its Syria branch PYD/YPG". The two countries, along with Iran had also initiated a deal for an evacuation from Aleppo in late 2016 after the Assad regime took control of the city.

He suggested that talks between Damascus and the Syrian Kurds could be part of a broader political solution in Syria.

Mr @realDonaldTrump Terrorists can't be your partners & allies.

"President Macron spoke to him (Trump) several times and it seems that there has been a change that I think is positive", he said in a television interview on Thursday.

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