Turkey Reportedly to Ask US to Hand Over Military Bases in Syria

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton earlier arrived in the Turkish capital of Ankara to hold talks with senior Turkish officials on US troop withdrawal from Syria, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hailed the pull-out as “the right call”.

Turkey will ask US officials to hand over its military bases in Syria to Ankara or destroy them, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported. “Give them or destroy them”, the publication’s headline read, referring to what it said were 22 US military bases in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying that Turkey would not accept Washington handing them over to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton arrived in Ankara for talks with his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Kalin on Tuesday just days after Bolton set forth a new condition for the US withdrawal, insisting that Turkey must agree to protect the US-allied Kurdish militia.

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States, at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered”, Bolton told reporters, as quoted by NBC News.

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