By Greg Norman | Fox News
Angry residents in a Kurdish-controlled Syrian city pelted departing U.S. armored vehicles with potatoes and other refuse, videos on social media show.
The food barrage came amid a controversial troop drawdown that Kurdish leaders say leaves their people exposed to Turkey’s military, but which American supporters of the withdrawal contend is long overdue.
Scenes broadcast by the Kurdish ANHA news agency show potatoes, tomatoes and other rubbish raining down on the hoods and windows of vehicles moving through Qamishli.
Some of the residents there were heard — in English — shouting “No America” and “America liar,” the Associated Press reported. One vehicle was seen backing up over a sidewalk to get away from the crowd.
The bulk of U.S. troops in Syria are in the process of pulling out of the region following orders from President Trump earlier this month. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said some of the forces will be heading to western Iraq, where the American military is set to continue fighting ISIS.
US TROOPS LEAVING SYRIA FOR IRAQ IN ‘WEEKS NOT DAYS’, ESPER SAYS
Speaking at a press conference in Afghanistan on Monday, Esper said he’s also discussing keeping a residual U.S. military presence in northeast Syria, and said some American forces there haven’t started to withdraw yet. Instead, the troops are working with Syrian Kurdish fighters to secure the area’s oilfields so the oil doesn’t fall under the control of ISIS or other groups.
Additionally, between 200 and 300 U.S. troops are expected to remain at the southern Syrian outpost of Al-Tanf.
Meanwhile, Esper said the U.S. is using overhead surveillance to try and monitor the cease-fire — or “pause” — it brokered between Turkish and Kurdish forces “as best we can.”
An American military convoy stops near the town of Tel Tamr, north Syria, on Sunday. (AP)
KURDISH MILITARY LEADER SAYS HIS FIGHTERS STILL WANT TO WORK WITH US
A senior Kurdish official speaking to the Associated Press on Monday said his forces are complying with the terms of the deal and are completing a withdrawal from a long section of the Syrian border with Turkey. The official, however, accused Turkish troops of violating the terms of the agreement, claiming the Turks shelled a Kurdish village at dawn.
Trump ordered the bulk of the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria to withdraw after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made it clear in a phone call that his forces were about to invade Syria to push back Kurdish forces that Turkey considers terrorists. The Syrian Defense Forces have deep ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is designated as a terror group by both Turkey and the U.S.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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