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No plans to remove United States troops from Iraq: Donald Trump

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Syrian Kurds take part in a demonstration in Qamishli to protest against threats from Turkey to carry out a fresh offensive

The Christian unit within the multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian Syrian Democratic Forces put out an "urgent call" to the coalition fighting ISIS that Christians in Syria are "at risk of extinction" at the hands of Turks after us withdrawal.

Turkey is vehemently opposed to a Kurdish entity on its border, fearing it will strengthen the separatist ambitions of the Kurdish minority inside the country, and says the YPG is a Syrian "terrorist" offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"There will be intensive traffic" between officials, he added, a day after Trump and Erdogan held a telephone conversation agreeing to coordinate the Syria pull-out.

Trump declared victory against ISIS in his December 19 announcement of the withdrawal, arguing that US troops had no other reason for staying in Syria now that the group had already been defeated.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Ankara will intervene in the coming months against ISIS and the YPG.

Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters at a briefing for domestic media that Turkey aimed to cross to the east of the Euphrates as soon as possible, the Hurriyet newspaper said, without giving further details.

Washington and Ankara have now agreed to complete their agreement on Manbij by the time the United States finishes its withdrawal, Cavusoglu also said, according to the state-owned Anadolu news agency. "It is incumbent upon Turkey to develop a strategy for the post-conflict Syria and assume a major role in the country's reconstruction". "We consider this a step in the right direction with the ability to begin the peace process, so let's just see how it will be realized in practice because earlier we heard that the Americans didn't fulfil their promises in that area", she said.

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Manbij, a town in northern Syria, has been a flashpoint between Turkish forces and Kurdish militias.

Mr Abu Adel, on Tuesday said there is no sign of an imminent Turkish attack on Manbij, despite claims by Turkish-backed rebels that they are pressing ahead with an assault.

"So it is not clear how Turkey would orchestrate a military campaign at such long distances from its border in hostile territory", he told AFP.

The White House, in confirming Erdogan extended the invitation, said there are no "definite" plans for a trip yet. Thus the USA withdrawal is considered a major concession for Erdogan, which no doubt Trump was hoping to maintain as a key ally against Iran.

"Since the declared actions will change United States strategy, we would like to understand exactly what they have in mind", she said.

Turkey has previously launched two operations with the rebels in Syria against IS in August 2016 and against the YPG in its northwestern enclave of Afrin in January 2018.

The attacks also eliminated "several hundred" ISIS fighters.

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