Top security official says US ready to discuss Syrian Kurds’ safety with Russia

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WASHINGTON, January 11. /TASS/. Washington may hold talks with Moscow on ways to ensure the security of Kurdish units in Syria, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said in an interview with American journalist Hugh Hewitt, published on the latter’s website on Friday.

“The Kurds are in a very difficult position, and the [US] President, as he spoke with [Turkish] President Erdogan, thinks that we, they were loyal to us, and we must make sure that they’re not harmed. That’s what we’re talking to the Turks about. We’d talk to the Russians about it, too, if need be,” Bolton said.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that once Damascus retook control of the Kurdish-populated areas, the security of Syria’s neighboring countries would be strengthened. She also highlighted the importance of dialogue between the Syrian authorities and the Kurds.

While on a visit to Israel last week, Bolton said it was important that the withdrawal of US troops from Syria did not endanger those who had fought against the Islamic State (outlawed in Russia) and other terror groups together with the US. He particularly meant the Syrian Democratic Forces, the bulk of which is made up of the People’s Protection Units.

Ankara gave a tough response to Bolton’s words, as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Washington’s demand that Turkey ensure the safety of the Kurds in Syria as a mistake. He said that Turkey might launch an operation against Kurdish units in northern Syria anytime following Bolton’s visit to Ankara, having held consultations with Trump.

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