President Trump’s decision — made in the span of a week — to withdraw about 1,000 American troops from northern Syria caught the Pentagon, and the forces on the ground, off guard.
The Trump administration called on Turkey for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria on Monday as it announced sanctions on three senior Turkish officials and sharply increased tariffs on steel in response to the military operation launched by Ankara last week.
Syrian government forces began fanning out in the northeast after striking a deal with Kurdish fighters abandoned by their U.S. allies to a Turkish military offensive — a major shift that could see President Bashar al-Assad cement his impending victory in the country’s long war.
Turkey’s assault on Syrian Kurdish forces has not breached a red line declared by President Donald Trump, a US official said Thursday, as he added that Washington wanted to broker a ceasefire.
Turkish ground forces pressed their advance against Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Thursday, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said, launching airstrikes and unleashing artillery shelling on Syrian towns and villages the length of its border.
The U.S. military has no plans to intervene if Syrian Kurdish forces abandon a constellation of Islamic State prisons in Syria to confront a possible Turkish invasion, officials said Tuesday.