Trump's Pentagon chief deletes tweet that contradicted the president on Turkish invasion of Syria
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper (left) listens to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford during a press conference at the Pentagon AFP / Jim WATSON

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday posted and then quickly deleted a tweet in which he contradicted President Donald Trump's welcoming of a Turkish military operation in northern Syria.

As flagged by Politico reporter Dave Brown, Esper sent out a tweet on Monday afternoon in which he emphasized that the United States Department of Defense "does not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria."

Esper went on to say that "we will work with our NATO allies and Coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilizing consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond."

Esper then linked to a press release at the DoD website that reiterated the department's and the president's lack of support for a Turkish incursion into Syria.

This statement contradicts a statement issued by the White House on Sunday evening, which stated that "Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria," while adding that "United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area."