By the Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Mark Esper says President Donald Trump has ordered all US troops in northern Syria to move south, but not leave the country.
Esper tells CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the conflict between Turkish forces and US-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters had become “untenable” for the US military.
And that led Trump to direct what Esper calls a “deliberate” withdrawal of American troops from the north. Esper says the forces weren’t ordered to leave Syria entirely.
Esper isn’t saying how many US troops will leave the north, but he says they represent most of the 1,000 troops in Syria.
Esper also says the US believes the Kurds are about to “cut a deal” with the Syrian army and Russia to enable a counterattack against Turkey and its Syrian proxy forces.