Secretary of Defense Esper blames Turkey for attacks on Kurds, says US has not abandoned them


Defense Secretary Mark Esper, in his first public statement on the crisis in Syria, blamed Turkey on Friday for the conflict with the Kurds, a key U.S. ally.
Esper said the United States had "not abandoned the Kurds" when it pulled back this week from a portion of the Turkish border after a phone call Sunday between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kurdish forces, who fought side by side with U.S. troops against the Islamic State – as recently as last weekend – are under attack as Turkey's military continues to step up assaults on the region.

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