The Pentagon stated Sunday President Donald Trump had ordered the withdrawal of around 1,000 soldiers from northern Syria — nearly the whole ground force from the war-torn nation — amid an intensifying Turkish attack on civic forces.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the move came following the US discovered that Turkey was pressing farther into Syria than anticipated.
The Kurds — with whom the US partnered to fight the Islamic State (IS) team — afterward announced they had reached a deal with the regime in Damascus to set up Allied troops close to the border to face the Turkish offensive.
“So I talked with the president after talks with the remainder of the national security team and he directed that we start a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria.”
Esper stated he was not able to supply a deadline due to the changing situation on the floor, but added that the withdrawal could be completed at a”very secure, deliberate way.”
“It is a terrible situation on the market, a situation brought on by the Turks… Regardless of our resistance, they chose to create this incursion into Syria,” Esper told CBS.
“And in this point in time in the past 24 hours, we discovered they probably mean to expand their assault farther south than originally intended and into the west”
Esper also pointed to a potential bargain — affirmed later Sunday from the Kurdish administration in northern Syria — on a Syrian troop deployment close to the border with Turkey to assist the Kurdish-led Allied Democratic Forces (SDF) face Ankara’s offensive.
The US withdrawal statement came following its troops came under artillery fire Friday that the Pentagon said was from Turkish ranks.
Asked if troops are leaving the country entirely, Esper explained the withdrawal was from northern Syria, “that is where many of our drivers are.”
Fighting raged Sunday across the boundary on the day of an offensive which has triggered a global outcry and left dozens of civilians and fighters deceased.
The withdrawal sparked a bipartisan firestorm of criticism in America and accusations that Trump was left-handed a faithful ally in the struggle against IS militants.
-‘Derelict in his obligation’ –
He’s making Americans less secure, he’s undoing years of effort to curtail (IS),” top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer said in a statement on Sunday.
“He’s making America more prone to terrorism with his activities.”
“The Kurds and Turkey have been battling for several years… Others might want to enter and fight for one side or another. Let them! We’re monitoring the situation carefully. He explained.
Hundreds of relatives of international jihadists have escaped by a displacement camp in northern Syria, Kurdish government said Sunday, as the variety of individuals fleeing the Turkish attack jumped to 130,000.
Ankara’s offensive triggered fears that tens of thousands of IS fighters held by Allied Kurdish forces may violate loose.
Trump tweeted Sunday that”the U.S. gets the worst of those ISIS prisoners,” with an acronym for IS, but added: “Turkey and the Kurds should not permit them to escape.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared Friday that Trump had approved — but not activated — fresh sanctions to dissuade Turkey from additional offensive military actions.
“We can shut down all US dollar trades with the whole government of Turkey,” Mnuchin informed ABC on Sunday.
“It is something we can perform. There is complete authority and something in a minute’s notice that the president can let me do.”