Trump Authorizes Withdrawal of U.S. Troops In Syria As Tensions With Turkey Rise

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Posted: Oct 13, 2019 3:14 PM
Trump Authorizes Withdrawal of U.S. Troops In Syria As Tensions With Turkey Rise

Source: DHA via AP

The United States is beginning a "deliberate withdrawal" of American troops from northern Syria as the Turkish army continues its attack on the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Washington Times reported. 

“I’ve talked to President Trump and he is concerned. Last night he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of U.S. forces from the northern part of Syria. We want to make sure we do so in a very safe, deliberate manner,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday." 

According to MSN, Turkey knew United States Special Forces were in the area when they launched an attack along the Turkey-Syria border last week. American military officials are now wondering whether Turkey purposely targeted U.S. troops with the goal of pushing them further into Syria. Doing so would allow Turkey to overtake more land than what they original laid out in their current mission.

When Turkey launched their attack along the border, some shell casings launched on both sides of a United States military outpost, MSN reported. Turkey, however, has claimed that they fired on the outpost in "self-defense."

President Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to reiterate his position: that American troops should not get caught in the middle of a fight between the Turks and the SFD. 

He also said Congress is looking at placing sanctions on Turkey, something he initially mentioned last week.