Mark Esper: U.S. to Send Troops, Armored Vehicles to Syrian Oil Fields

Defense Chief Mark Esper said Friday the U.S. will be sending troops and armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields in an effort to counter potential ISIS control.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announces the United States will be sending troops and armored vehicles to Syrian oil fields amid the recent escalation in the region.

Esper made those remarks Friday during a press conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels, saying the move comes in an effort to prevent ISIS from gaining control of the oil.

The defense chief did not specify the number of troops or a timeline regarding the matter.

President Trump weighed in on the announcement via twitter on Friday saying, “COMING HOME! We were supposed to be there for 30 days – That was 10 years ago.”

The president continued by saying, “When these pundit fools who have called the Middle East wrong for 20 years ask what we are getting out of the deal, I simply say, THE OIL, AND WE ARE BRINGING OUR SOLDIERS BACK HOME, ISIS SECURED!”

Esper’s announcement comes one day after he blasted Turkey for its decision to invade northern Syria earlier this month calling the move “unwarranted.”

Esper made the remarks while speaking at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels saying, “Turkey put us all in a very terrible situation.”

The defense secretary continued by saying, “I think President Erdogan was fixated on making this incursion for one reason or another and there was not a possibility that we were going to start a war with a NATO ally.”

The defense chief made it clear Turkey’s decision compromised the years of progress the U.S. and its allies have made in defeating the caliphate of the Islamic State in the region.

Earlier this week, President Trump announced Turkey agreed to a permanent ceasefire in northern Syria. 

The president also disclosed all sanctions enacted against Turkey earlier this month for carrying out the offensive will be lifted given their cooperation.

The president signed the executive order authorizing the sanctions, canceled trade talks involving a $100 billion trade deal, and also spiked steel tariffs back up to 50%. 

The sanctions targeted a series of Turkish officials and institutions for the nation’s escalating aggression with Kurdish forces along the Turkish-Syrian border. 

The executive order also involved the blocking of property and prohibited certain individuals from entering the United States. 

Meanwhile, Russia has deployed troops to northern Syria in an effort to patrol the area and ensure Kurdish forces have left the region. 

Russia officials issued stark warnings to the Kurds telling them if they do not leave the area, they will be “steamrolled” by the Turkish military. 

Turkey’s ultimate goal is to resettle around two million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey, in northern Syria.

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