SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK:Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Washington would withdraw troops from Syria, in an abrupt policy shift. Two NATO allies are in contact over the pullout plan and fight against remaining Islamic State elements.

Earlier, Turkey was ready to take over security in Syria’s Manbij, where four U.S. citizens died in an Islamic State-claimed bombing last week, President Tayyip Erdogan had told U.S. President Donald Trump in a telephone call on Sunday, the Turkish presidency said.

Erdogan had told Trump that the suicide bombing in Manbij, a town in northeast Syria controlled by a militia allied to U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, was a provocative act aimed at affecting Trump’s decision last month to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.