Top US officials expressed confidence Sunday that a cease-fire in northern Syria was holding despite skirmishes between Kurdish and Turkish forces.
US President Donald Trump has come under intense criticism, including from fellow Republicans, for effectively giving Turkey a green light to move against the Kurds, the staunchest US allies in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.
In a tweet, Trump quoted Defense Secretary Mark Esper as saying ‘the cease-fire is holding up very nicely,’ a view echoed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a Sunday talk show appearance.
‘We're optimistic,’ Pompeo said on ABC's ‘This Week.’
‘There's relatively little fighting, a little sporadic small-arms fire, a mortar or two,’ he said.
Turkey unleashed the offensive against the Kurds October 9 after Trump cleared the way by ordering US troops out of the area.
Amid mounting international outrage over the offensive, Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence rushed to Turkey last week to negotiate a pause in the fighting.
Meanwhile, US troops were seen Sunday leaving a key base in northern Syria with their equipment, apparently part of a broad US withdrawal ordered by Trump.
‘USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!’ Trump said in his tweet.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
160 Palestinian cars vandalised
Lebanese protesters throw trash at politicians’ houses in Tripoli
Iraqis rally against govt as Western envoys summoned
Hariri re-emerges as PM candidate
Two Palestinians injured after air strike in Gaza
Top Iraqi security officer sacked after deadly attack
Senior Iraqi security officer sacked after deadly Baghdad attack
Rocket hits cleric’s home following Baghdad attack
Air strikes kill at least 20 in Syria's Idlib