US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday it was too early to know if an accord to end Turkey’s assault in Syria would succeed, ahead of a deadline for Kurdish fighters to leave border areas.
“Some progress has certainly been made,” Pompeo said at the Heritage Foundation in Washington hours before the 1900 GMT deadline for formerly US-allied Kurdish fighters to pull out.
But he added: “It is a complicated story, to be sure. The success of the outcome there is not yet fully determined.”
Turkey launched an assault against the Kurdish YPG militia after President Donald Trump told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone call that he would pull out US troops who had served as a buffer between the two sides.
Under heavy criticism, Trump slapped sanctions on Turkey and sent Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence to Ankara, where they reached a deal Thursday under which the YPG would pull out of a “safe zone” within five days.
“We think now we are in a better place” than before the accord, Pompeo said.
Quoting Trump, Pompeo said that the United States needed to demonstrate “some tough love” to NATO ally Turkey.
Turkey has warned that it would resume its offensive if the Kurds do not withdraw within the deadline.
Turkey links the YPG to banned separatists at home, but the Kurdish fighters enjoy wide support in Washington for bearing the brunt of the battle to crush the extremist Islamic State movement.
© 2019 AFP
‘Outrageous and criminal behavior’: Internet blows up at graphic video of Buffalo Police pushing over an elderly man
On Thursday, footage emerged of police in Buffalo, New York pushing an elderly man to the ground, and refusing to help him as he lay bleeding profusely from a head injury.
The footage triggered immediate outrage on social media.
Horrible. I pray he’s ok. https://t.co/wL2gcNeAIT
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 5, 2020
WATCH: Protester bled from his ear after being shoved by police — cops say he ‘tripped’
SHocking video from Buffalo, New York was posted online on Thursday after a large group of police confronted a lone protester -- and then violently shoved him.
"Shortly after Buffalo’s curfew started, city police and State Police swept through the area of Niagara Square directly in front of City Hall to clear the area where a protest was finishing. An unidentified, older man was hit shoved by two officers in the line. The man lost his balance and fell to the pavement, audibly hitting his head with blood running out from under his head," WBFO-TV reports.
Trump aides are compiling candidates to replace Mark Esper if Trump decides to fire him: report
On Thursday, Politico reported that although Defense Secretary Mark Esper's job appears safe for now, aides to President Donald Trump are compiling a list of potential nominees to replace him if the president changes his mind and decides to fire him.
"An administration official and two people close to the White House say staffers in recent days have pulled together a list of possible candidates for Defense secretary if Trump does choose to fire Esper," reported Lara Seligman, Daniel Lippman, and Meridith McGraw. "At the top of that list is Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, who was Esper’s No. 2 before taking the Army job last summer, the people said. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), an outspoken Trump ally who has previously been considered for the position, is also in the mix, according to one of the people."