Trump claims US has 'secured the oil' in the Middle East


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President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.

It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.

Trump included the oil news in a string of tweets saying Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had given him assurances over the phone that imprisoned ISIS fighters in Syria were being guarded by both Turkish and Kurdish forces following the temporary ceasefire announced Thursday by Vice President Pence.

"The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey," Trump tweeted.

Without naming countries, Trump also said he had been notified that "European Nations are now willing, for the first time, to take the ISIS fighters that came from their nations."

"Big progress being made!!!!" the president capped off the message.

Despite the ceasefire deal, reports Friday suggested the fighting hadn't actually ended in northern Syria, where Turkish forces have slaughtered U.S.-allied Kurds since Trump pulled back American forces after a phone call with Erdogan on Oct. 6.

Trump confirmed in one of his Friday tweets that the fighting hasn't actually stopped.

"(Erdogan) told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated," he posted, adding there's "good will on both sides."

The chaos unfolding in Syria because of Trump's troop withdrawal has resulted in the escape of about 100 ISIS prisoners guarded by Kurdish forces, according to officials.

The Kurds, who have been credited with helping the U.S. root ISIS out of the Syria, are being forced to withdraw their forces amid the bloody Turkish military foray.

Erdogan, who wants to establish a "safe zone" in northern Syria to house refugees, considers the U.S.-allied Kurds to be terrorists because of their association with a militant left-wing guerrilla operating inside Turkey.

The ceasefire deal reached Thursday mandates that the Kurds give up large swaths of territory along the Turkish-Syrian border, an arrangement that largely solidifies Erdogan's goals.

Leader American lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have excoriated Trump's attempts at marksmanship in Syria as a betrayal of the Kurds.

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, speaking on the floor Thursday, welcomed the ceasefire deal but said it "does not change the fact that America has abandoned an ally."

With News Wire Services


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