The US-brokered pause in Syria battle seems to be broken

A Kurdish commander says more than 38 places have been attacked since the "pause" was called for almost a week ago.
4:50 | 10/20/19

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Transcript for The US-brokered pause in Syria battle seems to be broken
Good to have you. Now overseas to the Syria crisis heating up with tension on the ground as the Syrians ask for an emergency phone call with vice president pence. James Longman has more from northern Iraq. Reporter: Good morning, Eva. With both sides accusing the other of breaking this agreement, the prospects of it lasting are slim. We spoke to a kurdish commander who says as far as she's concerned it's already over. This morning, the U.S. Brokered pause in fighting in northeast Syria appears on the brink of collapse. A kurdish commander telling ABC news she believes the planned five-day break is effectively over. Turkey has attacked in more than 38 places since the cease-fire came into force. But Turkey says it is honoring the agreement and is only acting in self-defense. We hope they will stick to the agreement and leave the area because we do not want to see any further clashes. Reporter: U.S. Defense secretary mark Esper traveling to the Middle East on Saturday claims the cease-fire is mostly holding. We see a stabilization of lines if you will on the ground and we do get reports of intermittent fires, this and that. That doesn't surprise me necessarily. Reporter: Abdullah says kurdish forces have told the Americans this is not the case. Have you spoken to the Americans? When did you last speak to secretary Pompeo's team or vice president pence's team about what's happening? We told them clearly you are the guarantor of the cease-fire and told them you are responsible for what happens here. For two days we've tried to get our fighters out to the area and we couldn't. Reporter: Donald Trump has celebrating the deal struck by vice president pence and secretary Pompeo. Donald Trump says that the kurds are happy. I would tell Mr. Trump that the kurds are not happy. They've killed all these people so of course we're not happy. This agreement has allowed Turkey to occupy our land and kill our people. Reporter: This began when Donald Trump decided to announce that U.S. Troops would be leaving northern Syria but defense secretary mark Esper has said that that is a matter of weeks and not days, and when they do leave, some of them won't be going home. They'll just be redeployed elsewhere in this region, Dan? James Longman on the ground in Iraq, James, thank you very much. We really appreciate it. So much going on so let's bring in our chief anchor George Stephanopoulos who's hosting "This week" later. Good morning. Let's start with the situation in Syria. I know you have an exclusive with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Given the recent comments from the president about how this is happening 7,000 miles away, it's sand they're fighting over, how much energy is there in the administration to try to clean this situation up and do they have leverage? Well, this is the president's policy going back to the phone call three weeks ago with president erdogan of Turkey, that letter that he sent this week as well, the president has made it very clear that he wants out. Despite the pressure he's facing, despite the repercussions on the ground, you see the kurds calling this a betrayal. That's being echoed by even the president's closest allies here in the United States, especially Republican senators, people like Mitch Mcconnell, the Republican majority leader who says this withdrawal is a strategic nightmare. He's calling, senator Mcconnell, for the U.S. To prepare to put troops back in. There is zero indication that the president is prepared to do that, and in the wake of tt it's hard to see what kind of leverage we do have to prevent Turkey from going further after this strategic pause that's going on right now. Why do you think the president is so resistant to these calls from within his own party? He says this is what he believes. He always wanted to get out of endless wars. Now, the contradiction you see here is that the president is removing troops from Syria as he's adding more than 1,000 troops to Saudi Arabia but the president just seems committed to getting out despite what many believe will be a victory for Russia here, despite the concerns that ISIS could come back. The president seems clear. And a victory for Iran some say. Let's talk domestic politics. We saw those images, a huge rally for Bernie Sanders right here in New York City this weekend. Many people might have been attempted to write off his candidacy because of the fact that he had a heart attack. You look at these images though, do the doubters sa to reconsider? Yeah, that was some rally yesterday with AOC. He also got the endorsement of ilhan OMAR. He had a fairly strong debate performance Tuesday night. As you know, he's got more cash than anyone on hand. I think he is here to stay at least for a while. We'll have to see how the voters are reacting particularly in the early states of Iowa and new Hampshire where, as you pointed out, Bernie Sanders had been declining even before the heart attack. I want to remind everybody George as always has a big show this morning. As mentioned he's got that exclusive interview with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, as the situation in Syria rages. Then the top democratic on the foreign relations committee, senator Bob Menendez, will be here to respond.

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