Syrian children who fled from the outskirts of southern Idlib sit around a fire close to the Syria-Turkey border. AFP / Zein Al RIFAI
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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that it is crucial for the U.S. to maintain an open-ended military and diplomatic presence in Syria, as Turkey's military council vowed to respond immediately to a planned U.S. border force. In a speech at Stanford University on the way forward in Syria, Tillerson said that the withdrawal of U.S. troops would provide Syrian President Bashar Assad with "a golden opportunity" and would help strengthen his position, according to news agencies. Last week the U.S. announced that it will create a 30,000-strong border force with the Syrian Democratic Forces to prevent any Daesh resurgence in the Syria-Turkey border area, much to its NATO ally's anger.
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