The deal was brokered by Russia in an effort to push back against the Turkish invasion following the announcement that hundreds of ISIS prisoners have escaped; Trey Yingst reports. Turkey's invasion of northern Syria to attack Kurdish forces – following President Trump's decision last week to withdraw U.S. troops from the border area between the two nations – has created a chaotic nightmare that must not continue. So far, the fighting has sent more than 130,000 refugees fleeing from their homes in northern Syria and has resulted in an undetermined number of casualties from Turkish air strikes and fighting on the ground. President Trump is right to say U.S. troops should not continue fighting endless wars in the greater Middle East, but his abrupt decision to withdraw troops needs to be reconsidered to keep the fighting and bloodshed from getting even worse. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on "Fox News Sunday" that in addition to the few dozen American troops withdrawn earlier from near the Syria-Turkey border, the remaining roughly 1,000 U.S. troops in northern Syria will soon withdraw and move to the southern part of the country.
Turkey is aiming to form safe zones in northern Syria so that Syrian refugees hosted by Turkey could return to their home country, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Speaking in Istanbul on Monday, Erdogan also said nearly 300,000 Syrians had already returned to areas controlled by Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria, adding that he expected millions of Syrian nationals to return to the proposed safe zones. US President Donald Trump announced in December the withdrawal of the 2,000 US troops from Syria and Erdogan subsequently said they had discussed setting up a 32km-deep safe zone in Syria along the border with Turkey. On Friday, Erdogan said that Turkey expected the safe zone to be set up within a few months, otherwise, it would establish a buffer zone without the help of other nations. He added that the zone will aim to protect Turkey from "terrorists", referring to the US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia that controls areas in northeastern Syria along the Turkish border.
Security officials stand at the entrance of the mausoleum of Turkey's founder Kemal Ataturk as Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, military commanders and ministers visit the mausoleum to pay respects, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016. Turkish media reports say Turkish artillery on Tuesday launched new strikes at Islamic State targets across the border in Syria, after two mortar rounds, believed to have been fired by the militants, hit the town of Karkamis, in Turkey's Gaziantep province.
FILE - In this Sunday, June 14, 2015 file photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, thousands of Syrian refugees walk in order to cross into Turkey. According to exclusive Islamic State documents leaked to the Syrian opposition news site Zaman al-Wasl and analyzed by The Associated Press, at least 4,000 foreign IS recruits traveled through Turkey into Syria between late 2013 and most of 2014. According to exclusive Islamic State documents leaked to the Syrian opposition news site Zaman al-Wasl and analyzed by The Associated Press, at least 4,000 foreign IS recruits traveled through Turkey into Syria between late 2013 and most of 2014. FILE - In this Sunday, June 14, 2015 file photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Syrian refugees burst into Turkey after breaking the border fence and crossing from Syria cross into Turkey.
It's a diplomatic relationship that is deeply in crisis, but one that remains of crucial importance to both countries. Rarely have relations between the US and one of its key Nato allies been so poor as those between Washington and Ankara. "Damage limitation" may be an understatement to describe one of the main aims behind the visit the of the Turkish President, Recep Tayip Erdogan to the US this week. It has become increasingly clear what both these presidents think of each other. In his recent study of Barack Obama's foreign policy - the product of multiple interviews with the president - Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic summed up Mr Obama's view of his Turkish counterpart in terms of disappointed expectations.