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A delegation of senior Trump administration officials will depart for Turkey "as soon as possible" to negotiate a ceasefire following Ankara's bloody offensive into Syria that killed civilians and helped to reinvigorate the ISIS terror group, according to senior administration officials.
The delegation will seek to "achieve a deal" in the coming days to end the full-scale battle that erupted when Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erodgan permitted his forces to invade Syria following an announcement by President Donald Trump that he is removing American forces from the region.
Troop - Withdrawal - Republican - Leaders - Stage
The troop withdrawal, which has been criticized by both Republican and Democratic leaders, set the stage for a renewed wave of violence in Syria that U.S. officials say has threatened to erase American gains in defeating ISIS terrorists.
The Turkish incursion into Syria "has upturned one of the real success stories" of the U.S.-led coalition to defeat ISIS, according to one senior administration official who briefed reporters on the latest developments early Monday evening. "These are crucial diplomatic and security interests for us and the region."
United - States - Situation - Officials
The United States has now been left to "restore the situation as best we can," the officials said.
The U.S. delegation being sent to Ankara is a sign the Trump administration recognizes that it is "the only party with the gravitas to arbitrate with both sides," according to a second senior administration official, who also spoke only on background about the still developing response.
Erdogan - Warnings - Forces - Syria - Administration
"Erdogan refused to listen to our repeated warnings" about what would happen if he moved his military forces into Syria, according to a third senior administration official who briefed reporters.
The situation has gotten out of hand, the officials said. In addition to ISIS being rejuvenated, the incursion has interfered with American efforts to isolate Iranian forces in the region and stop them from bolstering Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad,...
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