Last updated on October 20, 2019
All the almost 1,000 U.S. soldiers withdrawing from northern Syria will lead to western Iraq to keep the effort against Islamic State militants,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated Saturday.U.S. Forces were pulling from northern Syria amid rising chaos following Turkey invaded the area earlier this month. President Donald Trump said he’d draw U.S. troops who had been protecting suburban regions from their way of the Turkish progress, prompting criticism both domestically and overseas. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is leading a congressional delegation to the area that weekend. Esper told reporters en route to the Middle East Saturday the U.S. withdrawal will probably take weeks. He explained the assignment for all those troops is to”help defend Iraq” and then conduct a counter-ISIS mission. It is uncertain if the U.S. soldiers moving into Iraq will utilize it as a foundation to launch floor raids to Syria. The further U.S. troops could increase the more than 5,000 American troops based in the nation.
Vice President Mike Pence declared a five-day cease-fire in northern Syria Thursday after Turkey agreed to temporarily stop its offensive to permit time to allow Kurdish fighters to draw deeper into Syria. Esper explained the delicate cease-fire was usually holding. “We see that stabilization of those traces, if you may, on the floor, and we do get reports of irregular fires, this also that doesn’t surprise me ” he further added. Turkey stated Sunday it had been closely monitoring the Kurdish retreat, asserting there”are zero impediments to withdrawal. “Ankara’s defense ministry included that advice about which streets may be used safely utilized was sent to U.S. army authorities. The Kurds, a faithful ally in America’s struggle against ISIS for decades, have promised Trump’s actions amounted to some betrayal. Trump was steadfast about the choice to draw U.S. troops in the region, asserting that it had been time to get the U.S. to quit fighting”endless wars” abroad. He has also whined about the ceasefire the U.S. negotiated. “Thousands and tens of thousands, and perhaps many more! “Pelosi at Jordan to speak SyriaHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi angrily walked from a White House meeting Wednesday after she promised Trump had a”collapse” after controversial trades over Syria.
Turkey’s defense ministry said Saturday that there were 20″offenses” committed by the Kurdish forces regardless of the ceasefire arrangement since Thursday. The ministry claimed that among its soldiers had been killed and the other injured” as a consequence of the anti-tank and light weapons fire” in the Kurds on Sunday.NBC News could not separately verify that claim. Turkish troops are fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, which can be directed to the Kurdish People’s Security Units (YPG). Turkey views the YPG as an expansion of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is regarded as a terrorist group by the United States. President Erdogan stated Saturday that Turkey would push on with its offensive and”crush the minds of terrorists” in case a deal with Washington about the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters in the area wasn’t fully executed.