Latest Mark Esper News

US may now keep some troops in Syria to guard oil fields

Oct. 21, 2019 2:30 PM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The U.S. may leave some forces in Syria to secure oil fields and make sure they don't fall into the hands of a resurgent Islamic State, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday, even though President Donald Trump has insisted he is pulling troops out of the country and getting out...

The Latest: 70,000 children displaced by NE Syrian violence

Oct. 21, 2019 1:07 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Turkey's invasion of northern Syria (all times local): 4:00 p.m. An international aid group says about 70,000 children have been displaced since the start of the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria. The United Nations has said more than 176,000 people have been uprooted....

The Latest: Trump says Israel, Jordan want troops in Syria

Oct. 21, 2019 12:35 PM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the United States and Syria (all times local): 12:30 p.m. President Donald Trump says he still wants to get all U.S. troops out of Syria, but Israel and Jordan have asked him to keep some in Syria. Just last week, Trump said the roughly 1,000 American troops in...

Residents of northeast Syria city pelt departing US troops

Oct. 21, 2019 11:53 AM EDT

AKCAKALE, Turkey (AP) — Angry over the U.S. withdrawal, residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city hurled potatoes at departing American military vehicles as they drove by on Monday. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said U.S. troops will stay in eastern Syria to protect Kurdish-held oil fields for at least...

US may now keep some troops in Syria to guard oil fields

Oct. 21, 2019 11:50 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Even as American forces make a hasty and chaotic withdrawal from northeastern Syria, the U.S. is considering leaving some troops behind to secure oil fields in the region and make sure they don't fall into the hands of a resurgent Islamic State, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said...

AP FACT CHECK: Trump exaggerates scope of cease-fire deal

Oct. 21, 2019 6:07 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Donald Trump describes it, the U.S. swooped into an intractable situation in the Middle East, achieved an agreement within hours that had eluded the world for years and delivered a "great day for civilization." It was a mission-accomplished moment that other Republican...

US defense chief in Afghanistan for firsthand look at war

Oct. 20, 2019 10:12 PM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Mark Esper sought a firsthand assessment Sunday of the U.S. military's future role in America's longest war as he made his initial visit to Afghanistan as Pentagon chief. Stalled peace talks with the Taliban and unrelenting attacks by the insurgent group and Islamic State...

Pelosi leads congressional delegation in Afghanistan visit

Oct. 20, 2019 9:58 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has led a congressional delegation on a visit to Afghanistan. Her office said in a statement Sunday night the bipartisan delegation met with top Afghan leaders, civil society representatives and U.S. military chiefs and troops serving there. Pelosi says the...

Mark Esper arrives in Kabul on his first trip to Afghanistan as US defense secretary

Oct. 20, 2019 7:25 AM EDT
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Mark Esper arrives in Kabul on his first trip to Afghanistan as US defense secretary.

Defense chief: US troops leaving Syria to go to western Iraq

Oct. 20, 2019 12:14 AM EDT

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that under the current plan all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the military will continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State group to prevent its resurgence. Speaking to reporters traveling with him...