Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that Turkey would not invade northeast Syria if US troops remained in their posts. The US retreat "opened the door" to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Navy Administrator Mike Mullen.
"Erdogan would not send these troops across that border if the Americans were there," Mullen told Fox News's Jennifer Griffin on Monday night at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. "And in that respect, she opens the door. When we're gone, she opens the door."
Only a handful of US service members remain in Syria after President Trump earlier this month ordered most of the 1
AMERICAN OF THE SYRIAN CITY CONTROLLED BY THE CHURCHES, PARTICULARED WITH CARTOUTS, TOMATOES
The United States and Turkey concluded a 120-hour ceasefire agreement on Thursday, which has since expired. According to experts and analysts, Ankara's goal is to put an end to any potential autonomous Kurdish state along its border in Syria, as Turkey views the Kurds as terrorists.
"Today is the last day for all terrorists to be released in the area," Erdogan said on Tuesday, before leaving for Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. From 10:00 tonight, the time will expire. Our affiliated agencies closely monitor the situation in the area. If America's promises are not met, our operation will continue. "
Turkey and Russia later announced on Tuesday that nations would conduct joint patrols on the border region following the removal of Kurdish forces there. Russian military police and Syrian troops Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Putin and Erdogan met more from six hours before talking to reporters to announce joint patrols, the fact that a NATO ally prefers to patrol the border with Russian forces rather than US forces, makes Pentagon staff scratch their heads.
according to Mullen, this is exactly what the US did not want to happen.
"We would all like to lose in that we will win. Putin will win in Russia. [Syrian President Bashar] Assad will win in Syria. ISIS will win. Erdogan will win. Iran will win. And we and our friends will lose, "he said.
Mullen served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011 and has more than four decades of military service experience.
Former president contradicts Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and current chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Millie, who both say several dozen US troops would not stop Turkish invasion of 15,000, including so-called mercenaries accused of war crimes against the Kurds. Complicating matters, the Iraqi military claims that hundreds of US troops arriving from Syria yesterday were not welcome.
IRAQ MILITARY USES NEXT SYRIA OF USA USES CONTRACT TO STAY PARTY when asked if he thought Turkey would invade Syria even with US troops there. "
" One hundred percent, "he said." I was very tight-lipped when President Erdogan informed us that he was ready to move and that he would do it in hours. President Trump has seen that there are American soldiers on the road … To think that we will have NATO fights – the President made the right decision at the moment to get US forces out of the way. "
Between 200 and 300 US troops remain in Southern Syria under Al Tanf.
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Lucas Tomlinson, Jennifer Griffin, David Asman and Greg Norman and Greg Norman and Greg Norman Fox News contributed to this report, as did The Associated Press.