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Trump claims US has 'secured the oil' in the Middle East
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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It didn't take long for a central theme to emerge at the funeral of U.S. Marine Pfc. Joseph Livermore, an event attended by hundreds of area residents Friday at Union Cemetery in Bakersfield.
It's a theme that stems from a widespread local belief that the men and women who have served in the nation's armed forces are held in particularly high esteem here in the southern valley.
"In Bakersfield and Kern County, we celebrate our veterans like no place else on Earth," Bakersfield Chief of Police Lyle Martin told the gathering of mourners.
ROCKFORD — Delta Force sniper Sgt. First Class James P. McMahon's face was so badly battered and cut, "he looked like he was wearing a fright mask" as he stood atop a downed Black Hawk helicopter and pulled free the body of a fellow soldier from the wreckage.
That's the first description of McMahon in the book by journalist Mark Bowden called "Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War." It is a detailed account of the horrific Battle of the Black Sea fought in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. It claimed the lives of 18 elite American soldiers.
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will retire as a chief petty officer now that President Donald Trump has restored his rank.
"Before the prosecution of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher, he had been selected for promotion to Senior Chief, awarded a Bronze Star with a "V" for valor, and assigned to an important position in the Navy as an instructor," a White House statement said.
"Though ultimately acquitted on all of the most serious charges, he was stripped of these honors as he awaited his trial and its outcome. Given his service to our Nation, a promotion back to the rank and pay grade of Chief Petty Officer is justified."
The announcement that Gallagher is once again an E-7 effectively nullifies the Navy's entire effort to prosecute Gallagher for allegedly committing war crimes. It is also the culmination of Trump's support for the SEAL throughout the legal process.
On July 2, military jurors found Gallagher not guilty of premeditated murder and attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a wounded ISIS fighter to death and opening fire at an old man and a young girl on separate occasions during his 2017 deployment to Iraq.