SecDef Esper heads to Mideast, NATO to talk about the future fight against ISIS.
The chaotic withdrawal from Syria will severely weaken U.S. efforts in the country—and could also be a boost for Russia and Iran.
“From what I understand it’s not a ceasefire,” Sen Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told reporters on Capitol Hill. “You have one-hundred-and-X number of hours to get out of here before we kill you.”
“We just have less eyes on the ground to know for sure what is happening,” said one senior defense official.
Joint exercises remain on the schedule as Turkish forces attack America’s Syrian rebel allies.
Science & Tech
As Turkey strikes deeper into northern Syria, Trump says ‘let them’ fight.
Esper explained why the U.S.-backed rebels will get no air cover or other help. But he couldn't explain why U.S. troops were moved after this particular Turkish threat to invade.
“The SDF is clearly focused on the northern border to protect their forces,” a defense official said.
“Trump has been Trump in foreign policy—but the safety nets are gone,” said one senior national security official, of the president’s Syria decision.
The president said 'far more than sanctions' awaits Turkey if its assault taking over northern Syria is not 'as humane as possible.'
Trump's decision "threatens to undo five years’ worth of fighting against ISIS and will severely damage American credibility and reliability," writes Joseph Votel, who until March led America's forces in the Mideast.
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