Displaced people, fleeing from the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras Al-Ain along the border with Turkey. File/ AFP
In the latest manifestation of his signature statements, US President Donald Trump said that things are “nicely under control” in Syria, even as aid agencies in the northeastern part of the country were desperately trying to provide assistance to thousands of people fleeing the fighting after Turkish forces launched an offensive.
About 1,000 refugees had crossed into Iraq's Kurdish north. The desertion of their homes by countless residents across northern Syria has triggered a new humanitarian crisis in the area.
Trump defended his decision to pull US troops out of Syria, but denied giving Turkey a "green light" to launch operations against Kurdish militants.
He said he saw the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be, for the United States, strategically brilliant.
He also remarked, "Turkey has gone into Syria. If Turkey goes into Syria, that's between Turkey and Syria – it's not between Turkey and the United States, like a lot of stupid people would like you to believe."
Trump stressed that US troops were out of harm's way and that the fallout from the US withdrawal was for Syria, Turkey and Russia to work out among themselves.
On his part, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on an invite from President Vladimir Putin, will visit Sochi in Russia on Oct.22 for talks over Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria.
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly slated President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw American soldiers from Syria.
Syrian forces on Wednesday night rolled into the strategic border town of Kobani, blocking one path for the Turkish military to establish a "safe zone" free of Syrian Kurdish fighters along the frontier as part of its week-old offensive.
The seizure of Kobani by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad also indicated a radical shift in strategic alignments: the town was where the United States military and Kurdish fighters first united to defeat the Daesh group four years ago.
At least two members of the Daesh group have fled their detention centre in Syria.
Syrian Kurdish officials said that more than 700 Daesh supporters escaped from a camp for displaced people in northeastern Syria over the weekend.
The UN Security Council has expressed "deep concern" over the escape and “dispersion of terrorists”.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to travel to Turkey to try to persuade Erdogan to halt the offensive.
Before the offensive, a camp in the northern town of Ein Eissa held an estimated 12,000 displaced people, including around 1,000 wives and widows of Daesh fighters and their children. But rioting broke out as Turkish-led forces closed in over the weekend, leading to the escape of hundreds of Daesh supporters.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he could no longer "keep track" of the tweets by his US counterpart Donald Trump as tensions mount over Ankara's operation against Kurdish militants in Syria, in comments published Wednesday.
"When we take a look at Mr Trump's Twitter posts, we can no longer follow them. We cannot keep track," Erdogan told Turkish journalists aboard a plane returning from Baku, in comments carried by the Hurriyet daily.
Turkey last week began an operation to drive back Syrian Kurdish militants from northern Syria, after the US pulled 1,000 troops out of the area.
The withdrawal was seen as a greenlight from the White House for the Turkish offensive.
But facing a massive backlash at home, Trump later issued a series of conflicting statements, at times threatening Ankara, and at others, suggesting the US had no role in the fight between Turkey and Kurdish militants.
In one typically contradictory tweet, Trump announced: "Big sanctions on Turkey coming! Do people really think we should go to war with NATO member Turkey? Never ending wars will end!"
In his interview with the Turkish journalists, Erdogan also shared an anecdote from his telephone call with Trump this week.
"I told Trump: 'You get very angry with the media from time to time. You are now under their influence. Don't listen to them, you are a strong leader. This does not befit a strong leader'," he said, according to the Yeni Safak daily.
A five-day pause in Turkey's cross-border military offensive to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish YPG fighters from the border area expires at 10 pm (1900 GMT) on Tuesday.
A total of 129 members of Trump's Republican Party joined Democrats as the House denounced the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria in a 354-60 vote.
The developments made clear that one of President Donald Trump's rationales for withdrawing troops from Syria was not going to come to pass any time soon. "It's time to bring our soldiers back home," he said Wednesday. But they are not coming home.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Syrian government forces to move out of areas near the Turkish border so he can resettle up to 2 million refugees there, his spokesman told the media Press on Saturday.
A Taliban delegation arrived on Saturday in Norway for three days of talks with Western diplomats and members of Afghan civil society, which it hopes will help "transform the atmosphere of war" in Afghanistan.
The British ministry said it had information the Russian government was considering former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevhen Murayev as a potential candidate to head a pro-Russian leadership.
Lawmakers exchanged blows in the Honduran Congress Friday as a dispute among members of president-elect Xiomara Castro's party turned violent.