Speaking to reporters in the White House on Friday, President Donald Trump downplayed recent reports of “sniper and mortar fire” along the Syrian-Turkish border amid a cease-fire, and claimed the U.S. has “taken control of the oil in the Middle East.”
“I just spoke to President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan of Turkey. We’re doing very, very well with Turkey,” Trump said minutes after concluding a call with the first two women astronauts to participate in an all-women spacewalk.
Turkey is “back to the full pause” on their military operation targeting Kurdish forces in northern Syria, Trump said.
The Kurds “are very happy about the way things are going,” Trump added.
“We’ve taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that we’re talking about, the oil that everybody was worried about. We have the U.S. control of that,” Trump claimed.
TRUMP at the White House today: “We've taken control of the oil in the Middle East, the oil that everybody was worried about.” POMPEO at NATO, asked to explain where the oil is and how the US would control it: “I didn’t see those president’s statements today that you suggested.”
— Lara Jakes (@jakesNYT) October 18, 2019
“Just spoke to President @RTErdogan of Turkey. He told me there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated. He very much wants the ceasefire, or pause, to work. Likewise, the Kurds want it, and the ultimate solution, to happen,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.
Vice President Mike Pence announced in Ankara on Thursday that the U.S. had reached a deal with Turkey to end the bloodshed in northern Syria that came as a result of Trump’s unilateral decision to abruptly withdraw U.S. armed forces from the region.