American forces continued their withdrawal from northern Syria Sunday and headed for Iraq, while efforts continued for a Kurdish evacuation from the area under the terms of the cease-fire agreed between the U.S. and Turkey.
Amid growing chaos after Turkey invaded the region earlier this month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said late Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops pulling out of northern Syria will now head to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State militants.
With President Donald Trump facing continued criticism for his approach to the crisis, the news means his vow to bring the troops home will seemingly go unfulfilled.
Vice President Mike Pence announced a five-day cease-fire in northern Syria Thursday after Turkey agreed to temporarily halt its advance to allow time for the Kurds to withdraw deeper into Syria.
Turkey has threatened to resume its offensive if the Kurds don't leave the zone near the border, claiming Sunday that there are "absolutely no impediments to withdrawal."
Meanwhile, the Kurds claimed that Turkey had blocked the opening of a safe corridor to evacuate.
But the Kurdish Rojava Information Center said Sunday that a convoy had successfully returned from the besieged border town of Ras al-Ayn with wounded civilians and fighters.
Both sides have been accusing each other of violating the terms of the cease-fire and not following the agreement.
Source: NBC News.