Turkey Syria offensive: Some US troops to stay, says Trump

Sun Online Desk

22nd October, 2019 11:09:06 printer

Turkey Syria offensive: Some US troops to stay, says Trump


US President Donald Trump says some American troops will stay on in Syria despite his call for them to be pulled out.

He said a small number would protect oil fields while others would stay near Israel and Jordan, reports BBC.

His decision two weeks ago to withdraw US forces from the Syria-Turkey border region drew criticism even from some of his supporters, reports BBC.

Soon after Turkey launched an offensive against former US allies the Kurds.

The US president again defended his decision to withdraw, amid accusations he has betrayed Kurdish-led forces who have been an important partner in the battle against Islamic State.

But Mr Trump also said the US had been asked by Israel and Jordan to leave a small number of troops in "a totally different section of Syria".

In another part of the country he said US forces were needed to "secure the oil".

Turkey moved against Kurdish-led forces in Syria with the aim of pushing them away from northern Syria and create a "safe zone" for resettling up to two million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.

Up to 300,000 people are reported to have fled their homes since the fighting started.

A ceasefire is currently in place to allow for the withdrawal of Kurdish-led forces from the area but is set to run out at 2200 local time (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.

Mr Trump has not ruled out the possibility of an extension.