Tillerson: US troops staying put in Syria to counter Assad, Iran

US to Maintain Open-Ended Military Intervention in Syria: Tillerson

US to Maintain Open-Ended Military Intervention in Syria: Tillerson

"The American military presence on Syrian land is illegitimate and represents a blatant breach of global law and an aggression against national sovereignty", Syrian foreign ministry statement said.

The U.S. -led global coalition against Daesh said on Sunday that it would establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF/PKK - a group largely controlled and manned by the PYD/PKK terrorist organization. "But that change will come". For this reason, we will seek to de-escalate the civil war in Syria, work for peace, and encourage all parties to head to the negotiating table.

Tillerson said the administration also will maintain a small "conditions-based" military presence in Syria to track and kill the dwindling number of Islamic State militants.

Condoleezza and Tillerson were among a number of high profile attendants at Wednesday's Hoover Institution conference on USA foreign policy.

The secretary of state said the U.S.

But Mr Cavusoglu yesterday said Turkey meant to intervene in Syria, adding that it was still distrustful of the US. "Instead, we will encourage worldwide assistance to rebuild areas the global coalition and its local partners have liberated from Islamic State", he said.

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However, he said, more clarity was needed on how Washington will force the implementation of the political process and how it "will force the Assad regime into accepting a political settlement that leads to establishing a safe and neutral environment that leads to a transition through free and fair elections".

Laying out the Trump administration's broad strategy for Syria, Mr Tillerson said a quick withdrawal from Syria would give the jihadist group space to regroup after years of defeat on the battlefield. "The full USA withdrawal at this stage will help Assad continue to terrorize its own people".

But Tillerson also declared in his speech that "reducing and expelling malicious Iranian influence from Syria" is a top priority. The Syrian Foreign Ministry statement said the government was not in need of US dollars "stained with the blood of Syrians". United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura announced Wednesday that the U.N. would host the Syrian government and opposition for peace talks in Vienna on January 25 and 26. The US has at least 2,000 troops in Syria, according to Pentagon figures released in December.

Beyond counterterrorism, though, Tillerson outlined a much broader mission for US forces in Syria than when Trump first entered office with an nearly singular focus on defeating terrorists.

Turkey said yesterday it was not satisfied with Washington's attempts to allay its concern about the creation of a Syrian border force on its southern frontier, adding its "direct mistrust" of the United States continued.

The latest threat from Turkey was triggered by United States plans to train a 30,000-strong border force to protect the Kurdish-controlled area of north-eastern Syria.

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