PENTAGON / WASHINGTON - The United States is finding itself bogged down in northeastern Syria, caught in the middle of an increasingly dangerous fight between two key allies — Turkey and the Syrian Kurds — with neither side giving any sign it will back down.
Further complicating matters, U.S. military and intelligence officials say they see indications that the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or Daesh, is finding ways to take advantage of the chaos.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday became the latest senior U.S. official to voice his disapproval, decrying Turkey's military incursion during a hastily scheduled news conference at the Pentagon.
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.,…
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., Oct. 11, 2019.
"We oppose and are greatly disappointed by Turkey's decision to launch a unilateral military incursion into northern Syria," he said, describing the decision as "impulsive."
"This operation puts our SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] partners in harm's way," he said. "It risks the security of ISIS prison camps and will further destabilize the region."
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