Us Troops Syria
Turkey's defense ministry said the U.S. had announced that the Syrian Kurdish fighters had completed their pullout from areas Turkey invaded earlier this month, as a five-day cease-fire allowing for the withdrawal expired Tuesday night.
Sunday’s ministry statement said that Syrian Kurdish fighters have violated the three-day-old cease-fire some 20 times.
The United States also called on Turkey to stop the offensive and declare a cease-fire, while European Union countries moved to broaden an arms sale embargo against their easternmost ally.
The Turks began attacks in Syria against the Kurds, longtime U.S. battlefield allies against IS, after President Donald Trump declared U.S. troops would stay out of the fight.
Esper isn't saying how many U.S. troops will leave the north, but he says they represent most of the 1,000 troops in Syria.
Trump remained steadfast and defended a move that drew widespread bipartisan criticism that he has endangered stability in the Middle East and risked the lives of Syrian Kurdish allies who helped the U.S. bring down the Islamic State group in Syria.
Turkey launched its offensive Wednesday against Kurdish fighters in Syria, who have helped the U.S. against the Islamic State.
Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday, with air strikes hitting the border town of Ras al Ain.
Trump declared U.S. troops would step aside for an expected Turkish attack on the Kurds, who have fought alongside Americans for years, but he then threatened to destroy the Turks’ economy if they went too far.