Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, today, as the five-day ceasefire between Turkey’s military and Syrian Kurdish groups expires today at noon Eastern time. Turkish President Erdogan has vowed to restart the military offensive in northern Syria and has threatened to “crush the heads” of Syrian Kurdish forces if they don’t withdraw from the Turkey-Syria border. The Turkish invasion into Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria began after President Trump spoke to Erdogan on the telephone and then announced he was abruptly withdrawing U.S. troops from the region, clearing the way for the offensive. Convoys of these U.S. troops have been departing northern Syria for western Iraq, where the Pentagon says they will be restationed. But the Iraqi government says the U.S. does not have permission to station those troops in Iraq. Meanwhile, President Trump now says some U.S. troops will remain in northern Syria in order to protect oil fields. The New York Times also reports that despite President Trump’s vow to end “endless wars,” about 200,000 U.S. troops are deployed overseas and that there are now more troops deployed to the Middle East than when Trump first took office.
Erdogan Meets with Putin as Turkish Ceasefire in Syria Expires
HeadlineOct 22, 2019