GOP Senate lawmakers reacted to Thursday’s announced cease-fire in Syria, with the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voicing approval, but Sen. Mitt Romney blasting the administration and calling for hearings. (Oct. 17)     AP, AP

President Donald Trump once again took to Twitter to defend his decision to pull US troops out of northeastern Syria, opening the door to a Turkish assault on Kurds who had helped America combat the Islamic State, but in the process, he incorrectly identified his secretary of defense.

On Sunday,Trump quoted“Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense” as saying, “The ceasefire is holding up very nicely” aside from “some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly.”

But the man the president put in charge of the Pentagon is named Mark Esper, not Esperanto. And many observers do not share Esper / Esperanto’s certainty that thecease-fire the Trump administration helped brokerbetween Turkey and the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces is holding up as well as he and other White House officials have implied.

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Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, “The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with the Kurds. ”USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)October 20, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told ABC News on Sunday that his “senior leaders” had just informed him that “there is relatively little fighting” consisting of “little sporadic small arms fire and a mortar or two. “

And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has emphatically denied his forces were not abiding by the agreement, which Turkey has characterized as a” pause. “

“I don’t know where you’re getting your news from. According to the news I received from my defense minister, there is no question of clashes,” he told reporters in Istanbul on Friday, according to Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency. “These are all speculation, disinformation,”


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