“Turkey committed this action. They decide to make an incursion in northern Syria despite our protestations, our urgings not to do it, all of our warnings,” Esper added. “We are doing what’s in the interests of our service members not to put them in harm’s way.”
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) announced the deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in a Sunday evening statement.
“This deployment occurred through coordination and agreement with the Self-Administration Authority for Northern and Eastern Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces,” the statement said.
Syria’s Kurds have announced a groundbreaking deal with Damascus on a Syrian troop deployment near the border with Turkey, as Ankara presses a deadly cross-border offensive that has sparked an international outcry.
The announcement on Sunday came as the United States ordered the withdrawal of almost its entire ground force in Syria.
According to Mr Esper, the SDF are „looking to cut a deal“ with the Syrian government and its Russian allies to counter the Turkish attack.
This, he said, would leave the US forces stuck between „two opposing advancing armies“.
He said he was unable to give a timeframe for the withdrawal and did not specify where the troops would be moved to next.
„I spoke with the President last night, after discussions with the rest of the national security team, and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria,“ Esper said on CBS‘ „Face the Nation.“ „Which is where most of our forces are.“
According to a source in Aleppo, the Syrian Army deployed a large force from the provincial capital to the southern outskirts of Manbij as the government holds talks with the SDF about preventing the Turkish Army and their militant allies from taking control of the town.
Netanyahu built his foreign affairs and defense policy on two foundations: complete identification with Trump and escalating the conflict with Iran and its allies, with a series of attacks that have intensified in recent months, striking at a distance as far as Iraq. He believed, and marketed to the public, that Trump was attentive to his counsel and would take steps to bring down the Iranian regime. But to his great disappointment Trump broke off contact with him after the election and is brazenly acting to thaw relations with Iran.
If anything is left of the ‚defense alliance‘ between Washington and Israel, it’s on paper only
At the request of U.S. Central Command, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized the deployment of additional U.S. forces and the following equipment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia:
Defense Secretary Mark Esper had authorized the deployment last month at the request of U.S. Central Command and informed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the country’s defense minister of the action earlier Friday.
„China has been closely following the complex and sensitive situation in the Gulf region,“ Geng added. „Safeguarding peace and stability in the region is in the shared interests of the international community. China welcomes all proposals and diplomatic efforts conducive to deescalating the situation in the Gulf region. We would also like to stay in communication with all relevant parties.“
Russia offers to establish an organization with the participation of Russia, the US, EU states and other countries in order to resolve the issues in the Persian Gulf, Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed on Thursday during the plenary session of the Valdai Discussion Club.
Netanyahu made the comments at a holiday toast with workers in his office, during which he relayed that he just had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump’s call for ending U.S. military involvement in the Middle East and bringing the troops home was a feature of his presidential campaign, but it flies in the face of many decades of bipartisan American policy, even as the Trump administration and its immediate predecessor have tried to give additional attention to what they see as long-term security threats elsewhere, including from China and Russia.
„From the first day I entered the political arena, I made it clear that I did not want to fight these endless, senseless wars—especially those that don’t benefit the United States,“ Trump said.
The president said Turkey had committed to protecting civilians and religious minorities, and that the country would be responsible for imprisoned ISIS fighters and ensuring the terrorist group „does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form.“
Trump suggested that Republican predecessor George W. Bush, whose military invaded Iraq based on bad intelligence, was responsible for entangling the United States in a regional quagmire that has resulted in more 50,000 American casualties since 2001.
‚We went to war under a false & now disproven premise, WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. There were NONE! Now we are slowly & carefully bringing our great soldiers & military home. Our focus is on the BIG PICTURE! THE USA IS GREATER THAN EVER BEFORE!‘ he proclaimed.
Trump said that religious clashes in the Middle East will never be resolved by an American military presence.
The US should never have been there in the first place (though reading Hillary Clinton’s late-night response to Trump it is clearer than ever that the world dodged more than a bullet when she failed to win the presidency).
The Kurdish people should have never placed their fate in the hands of a far off and thoroughly unreliable US “ally” which has picked them up only to put them back on the shelf so many times before. Syrian Kurds belong to Syria and it is with their Syrian neighbours and government that the SDF should have been in alliance.
A congressional source confirmed that Senate staff will get a „top-secret level“ briefing about the situation in northeast Syria. Katie Wheelbarger, acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for international security affairs, will take the lead on briefing staffers.
A Democratic aide added that House staff will be briefed separately on Tuesday
President Trump has indicated that he will fulfill one of his central campaign promises – to get the US out of the endless wars in the Middle East and elsewhere. He has directed US troops to begin withdrawing from parts of northeast Syria in advance of an expected Turkish incursion into the region. Neocons screech that this will mean a comeback for ISIS and that abandoning the Kurds is treachery. They want to continue the “successful” Obama policy of eight years.
As of today, American troops have been engaged in Afghanistan for 18 years—America’s longest war ever. This means today’s recruits may be sent to fight in a war that started before they were even born, and many of those currently deployed are likely too young to remember the events of 9/11.
There’s no question we were justified in responding to those attacks, and the men and women who have been sent to Afghanistan have served honorably. But our continued involvement in the region does not serve American interests and only works to destabilize the region further. After nearly two decades of fighting, thousands of lives lost, and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent, it is past time to bring our troops home.
The decision, which was announced by the White House on Sunday night, caught senior officials in Israel’s security and diplomatic ranks by complete surprise.
Several sources also said that the American decision was also not seriously discussed, and possibly even wasn’t discussed at all, during Sunday’s security cabinet meeting, which focused on Iran and the Palestinian arena.
The president lamented that the most difficult aspect of his job is writing letters to the families of soldiers killed overseas. He described writing to families of soldiers killed by mines or snipers, calling it „devastating.“
„We’re willing to do what we have to do, but there has to be an endgame,“ he said. „And if you stay, it’s going to be the same thing. Eventually you’re going to have to leave.“
“The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for … almost 3 years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home,” Trump tweeted.
“WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN,” the president added.
Furthermore, Turkish authorities do often question the motives of the continued military support of the U.S. to the YPG although the war against ISIL has already been won. Many in Ankara recall the establishment of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq in the 1990s and express concerns that this trend in Syria may lead to the disintegration of its southern neighbor.
On Monday, witnesses in Syria saw United States forces withdrawing from two positions in northeastern Syria: observation posts in Tel Abyad and Ein Eissa.
In a surprise announcement late Sunday night, the Whitehouse Press Secretary released a statement that said, „Today, President Donald J. Trump spoke with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey by telephone. Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation in Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in that operation, and the United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial „Caliphate,“ will no longer be in the immediate area.“
The statement does not make it clear if U.S. troops will fully withdraw from Syria or if they will just relocate. The statement also says, „Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years.“
„Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‚Caliphate,‘ will no longer be in the immediate area,“ White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
The announcement comes hours after President Trump held a phone call with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the two reportedly discussed the conflict and agreed to a meeting in Washington in November.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US counterpart Donald Trump agreed during a phone call to meet in Washington next month to discuss creating a „safe zone“ in northern Syria, the Turkish presidency said Sunday.
Military convoys were captured in dozens of photos and videos, confirming the Turkish leader’s claim that preparations have been finalized to establish a so-called ‘safe zone’ on Syrian soil along the Turkish border and that the operation could be launched “as soon as today or tomorrow.”
Additional armored vehicles and troops were sent to the border town of Akcakale, across from Tal Abyad in Syria, state television TRT confirms.
(17 hours ago)
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said its commander, Vice Admiral Jim Malloy, visited Riyadh to discuss Iran with his Saudi counterpart, Vice Admiral Fahad al Ghofaily, over the weekend.
STUTTGART, Germany — When the new U.S. and German defense chiefs held high-level talks in Washington this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wasted no time getting to his main point — the dollars and cents of defense spending.
While Saudi Arabia wanted to avoid war and escalation, Iran would be held accountable for the drone and missile strikes, Adel al-Jubeir told the BBC.
A US assessment claiming Iran was behind the attacks was backed up by the UK, France and Germany this week.
NEW YORK — The leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Monday blamed Iran for an attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the attacks on oil facilities on Saudi territory on September 14th, 2019 in Abqaiq and Khurais, and we reaffirm in this context our full solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its population,” French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a joint statement after meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
“The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles program and other means of delivery,” the three countries added
“It is clear for us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack,” the leaders of the three European powers said. “There is no other explanation.”
Rohani added that he will offer a regional peace plan during his visit to the UN this week. Fears of a wider regional conflagration have grown, as tensions between Iran and the U.S. remain high over Tehran’s failing 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Recently, Iran has broken the deal’s limits on enrichment, uranium stockpiles and the use of advanced centrifuges, as ot seeks to pressure Europe to offer it a way to sell its crude oil on the international market despite U.S. sanctions.
President Trump is sending a modest deployment of American troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with air and missile defense systems, in response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which the administration blames on Iran.
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper called the decision, which came on Friday during a White House meeting with top national security officials, “defensive in nature.”
Trump said he had planned a secret meeting with the Taliban’s “major leaders” on Sunday at a presidential compound in Camp David, Maryland. Trump said he also planned to meet with Afghanistan’s president.
Lam will meet with pro-Beijing lawmakers, Hong Kong deputies to the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at government house at 4pm according to RTHK, Now TV, Apple Daily and HK01.
Pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip told HKFP that the bill’s withdrawal is “likely,” though she has not been told what the meeting will be about.
The „partnership’s“ substance and objectives are still rather nebulous. Apparently, it will be the third attempt since 2013 to strongly enhance the repressive activities. Merkel, in any case, has announced that „the troops and police forces of the G5 countries“ should be each „reinforced nationally.“
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Yokohama, Japan, sought the support of the Asian government in combating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as well as illegal fishing in that region.