UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — US Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned Friday that the United States was continuing its withdrawal from northern Syria and that no US soldier would help establish a “safe zone” between Kurdish forces and Turkey.
Esber said US forces would remain in contact with Turkey and Syria’s Democratic Forces, which Washington supported in countering the Islamic State.
A safe zone between Turkey and Kurdish fighters in northern Syria is to be established, according to an agreement announced Thursday by US Vice President Mike Pence, under which Ankara agreed to suspend its incursion into northern Syria for five days.
US President Donald Trump has virtually given the green light to the Turkish operation by withdrawing special US-US units from the region working with Kurdish fighters.
He later announced the withdrawal of all 1,000 US troops from northeastern Syria.
“The United States continues to withdraw its forces from northeastern Syria, as previously announced,” Esber said in a statement.
“No American ground forces will participate in the establishment of the safe area.”
But a senior Pentagon official said the United States would continue to monitor the area from the air to ensure the security of prisons that include detainees from the extremist group.
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