Defense chief: U.S. troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq

Source: Politico | October 20, 2019 | Associated Press

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT — Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under current plans all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence.

Speaking to reporters traveling with him to the Middle East, Esper did not rule out the idea that U.S. forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria. But he said those details will be worked out over time.

His comments were the first to specifically lay out where American troops will go as they leave Syria and what the counter-IS fight could look like. Esper said he has spoken to his Iraqi counterpart about the plan to shift the more than 700 troops leaving Syria into western Iraq.

The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump’s rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. “It’s time to bring our soldiers back home,” he said Wednesday. But they are not coming home.

As Esper left Washington on Saturday, U.S. troops were continuing to pull out of northern Syria after Turkey’s invasion into the border region. Reports of sporadic clashes continued between Turkish-backed fighters and the U.S.-allied Syria Kurdish forces despite a five-day cease-fire agreement hammered out on Friday between U.S. and Turkish leaders.


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  • Consistent #32727

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    EVERYDAY #32732

    What? You mean Trump lied about the troops coming home? Horrors?

    I thought Trump doesn’t lie. If it’s reported he has lied, well, it’s fake news. Or he was misquoted. Or he was only joking. Or “all politicians lie.” The last one is used aplenty by Trump fans. Funny thing is that these same fans always promote their hero as a non-politician.

    Bad enough he removed those troops who were working with our allies, the Kurds, basically leaving them defenseless. Now he is lying about getting out of these “pesky” wars and bringing our troops home. Guess we can add this to the long list of lies Trnon-political. Unfortunately, his actions have put lives in danger and his lies only add to that danger.

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