Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted Wednesday that Turkey had launched its offensive into northern Syria against Kurdish fighters and ISIS operatives in the region…
The big picture: This comes just a few days after President Trump announced that U.S. forces would withdraw from the “immediate area” into which Turkish troops are expected to advance. Kurdish fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forcesjoined forces with the U.S. to fight ISIS in 2015…
Where it stands: A senior Trump administration official told reporters on a call Monday that Trump was withdrawing 50 to 100 special forces troops operating near the Turkey-Syria border, but not pulling out of Syria entirely. The New York Times reports that “roughly 100 to 150 troops” were ordered to relocate in preparation for an incursion.
- By Monday morning, about two dozen U.S. special forces left Syrian military outposts at the country’s northern border with Turkey, NYT’s Eric Schmidt said on Tuesday’s episode of the Daily.
- The U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces said on Tuesday that ISIS took advantage of the impending attack from Turkey with 3 suicide bombings on military positions in Raqqa.
UPDATE 1: From Politico’s morning email thingie-
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.): “If Turkey moves into northern Syria, sanctions from hell – by Congress – will follow. Wide, deep, and devastating sanctions. … To the Turkish Government: You do NOT have a green light to enter into northern Syria. There is massive bipartisan opposition in Congress, which you should see as a red line you should not cross.”