Syria's state-run news agency has warned that the troops are ready to confront the Turkish aggression.
"I always said if you're going in, keep the oil", Trump said, suggesting that the U.S. would "maybe get one of our big oil companies in to do it properly". Reports of sporadic clashes continued between Turkish-backed fighters and the Syria Kurdish forces despite a five-day cease-fire agreement hammered out Thursday between US and Turkish leaders.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday confirmed to the press in Kabul, Afghanistan that there are discussions about keeping some troops in northeastern Syria near oil fields with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Esper said on Saturday that all of the almost 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against ISIS militants and "to help defend Iraq".
Ankara began its unsuitable-border attack on October 9 with the intention of pushing assist Kurdish YPG fighters from its border and establishing a Turkish-managed zone to which it will most likely perchance in the end return Syrian refugees.
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Trump has vowed to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria since the last Islamic State stronghold in the country was defeated in March.
"Our allies see it the same way", Pompeo said.
Tuesday's statement says that American troops now withdrawing from Syria have acquired permission from the Iraqi Kurdish regional government to enter Iraq to later be transferred out of the country.
The Pentagon has suggested that American forces based in Iraq could cross into Syria and continue to conduct operations against ISIS militants.
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The move has raised concerns about possible clashes between Turkish forces and Assad's troops. According to the United Kingdom -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the border zone incursion has resulted in the deaths of more than 120 civilians. He said the aim is to pull USA soldiers out and "eventually get them home".
YPG/PKK terrorists have carried out 42 attacks so far, while the Turkish Armed Forces fully abide by the agreement with the USA, said Turkey's National Defense Ministry on Tuesday. The U.S. forces have been largely consolidated in one location in the west and a few locations in the east.
As it now stand, 5,000 American troops are now deployed in Iraq, which stems from an agreement between the two countries.
The US presence at several bases across Iraq is controversial, with numerous political groups and pro-Iran Shiite armed groups demanding their expulsion.
The Kurdish fighters in Syria are dominated by the YPG, a militia which Turkey regards as a terrorist group. In the days since, more than 200,000 people have fled the area, and some 200 civilians have been killed.
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Asked if U.S. special operations forces will conduct unilateral military operations into Syria to go after IS, Esper said that is an option that will be discussed with allies over time. But they say once the ceasefire expires, Turkey will resume its full-on military offensive.