On Friday Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that based on “continued threats,” in the region he has ordered the “deployment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of two additional fighter squadrons and supporting personal.”
Defense Secretary Esper: "I have ordered the deployment to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia of two additional fighter squadrons and supporting personnel" pic.twitter.com/qbnW52U0fl— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 11, 2019
He went on to explain that taken together with other deployments to Saudi Arabia, he has “extended or authorized for the last month this involves about 3,000 United States forces.”
Reuters reported that the deployment is “part of a series of what the United States has described as defensive moves following the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities last month, which rattled global energy markets and exposed major gaps in Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.”
The troop deployment announcement follows in the wake of President Trump’s decision to abandon the Kurds in the Northeastern part of Syria to Turkish forces.
As the News Blender reported on Wednesday, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced via tweet that Operation Peace Spring, was launched together with the Syrian National Army.
In his announcement Esper explained that “at this time we have made no additional changes to the force posture in Syria,” he added that they would continue to “access the situation and our troop levels there.”
He went on to say that the U.S. has not abandoned “our Kurdish partner forces,” adding that U.S. troops remain with them in “other parts of Syria.”
Esper said in his press conference that Erdogan’s invasion of Northern Syria, was “impulsive,” and has put the United States in a “tough situation.”
He added that the U.S. will not be pulled into a long drawn out conflict between the Turks and the Kurds.
Defense Secretary Esper: "At this time we have made no additional changes to the force posture in Syria…we are not abandoning our Kurdish partners forces…The impulsive action of President Erdogan to invade northern Syria put the United States in a tough situation." pic.twitter.com/z7Hf7NhKE1— CSPAN (@cspan) October 11, 2019
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a rare press briefing from the White House briefing room to announce that President Trump will sign an EO that will allow the Treasury Department new “significant sanctions authority,” that can be used to target anybody associated with the government of Turkey if they are needed.
He stressed that sanctions have not be levied at this time in response to the invasion of Northern Syria.
He went on to say that the President has made it clear, that Turkey cannot allow even one ISIS fighter to escape.
The below clip is five minutes long. It’s the whole presser.
White House Press Briefing with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: "The president wants to make very clear it is imperative that Turkey not allow even a single ISIS fight to escape."— CSPAN (@cspan) October 11, 2019
Full video: https://t.co/1TDRGxkCOK pic.twitter.com/JhCF28L3vq
For What It’s Worth.
President Trump via his Press Secretary on late Sunday announced that following a phone call with Erdogan that “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” adding, “The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation.”
In the same statement they explained, “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial “Caliphate” by the United States.”
Following the backlash the abandonment of the Kurds to Turkey caused, the President has tweeted 13 times, that he was “trying to end the endless wars.” He also said that if Turkey does anything he doesn’t like in Syria, he will “obliterate” Turkey’s economy.
The New York Times reported on Friday that a “sense of turmoil” is spreading across the Kurdish-held territory in Northern Syria.
Tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing “the bombardment, the abandonment of a major hospital on the front line and warnings of an imminent revival of the Islamic State militant group amid the chaos.”
Since the start of the military campaign on Wednesday, the Turkish government has said one Turkish soldier has died while twenty-three Kurdish fighters have died according to Syrian Democratic Forces, “the main Kurdish militia, though Turkey’s Defense Ministry said its troops had killed as many as 342.”
In a video released by Kurdish forces via Twitter, they say families of ISIS terrorists are rioting and attempting to escape from the camp.
As a reminder.
In September shortly after an attack on Saudi Arabia, that U.S. Officials say were carried out by Iran, the President during an Oval Office gaggle was asked about the U.S. response and if he wanted to go to war with Iran.
In this clip he said “I don’t want to go to war with anybody.”
"It's looking that way," President Trump says when asked if if there is evidence that Iran was behind the attack on the Saudi oil facility.— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 16, 2019
"As soon as we find out definitively we'll let you know," he adds. https://t.co/LikcIgXaoi pic.twitter.com/ExoKMd4zeO
In this clip he says that if we help Saudi Arabia they would be very much involved and that “includes payment.”
"The Saudis are going to have a lot of involvement in this if we decide to do something…and that includes payment, and they understand that fully," Pres. Trump tells @jonkarl when asked if he thinks it's the responsibility of Saudis to defend themselves. https://t.co/ePT4cWPIvc pic.twitter.com/bR5KlHxZ15— ABC News (@ABC) September 16, 2019
In this clip he says “Saudi Arabia pays cash.”
Let’s go to war with #Iran because #SaudiArabia “pays cash”, says #Trump. We wonder how much it cost the Saudis to butcher #JamalKhashoggi? Is US Military going to be forced into becoming mercenaries for “the Kingdom”?— Reagan Remnant 🇺🇸 (@reaganremnant) September 17, 2019
To read the transcript of the above clipped remarks @ the White House.