Fighting continues in Syria after US troops are withdrawn

Violence continues after the U.S. pulls troops from Syria; New developments in impeachment showdown this week; Hunter Biden talks to ABC News; 2020 Presidential Debate set to take place in Ohio.
27:21 | 10/14/19

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Transcript for Fighting continues in Syria after US troops are withdrawn
Yeah. Happy Monday welcomed the briefing here in coming cue from the Washington bureau ABC news I'm gallon San Suu Kyi a busy Monday to start off this what's going to be. A very busy week between what's happening on Capitol Hill members of congress. Making their way back to the nation's capital and of course the current situation in Syria and that is where we're going to start it's been eight days since president from. First spoke to the president of Turkey Arab line where we've now seen a change in the US military's involvement on the border with Syria. With so much happening right now I wanna go to RE BC senior national course but senior international correspondent. In panel. We take a look behind me because these are some of the greats of the thousands of young men and women who died fighting alongside US forces. A gain staunchest. And now back home raids out there on the front line say they feel they've been abandoned. This morning chaos and bloodshed in Syria and as president troubled muzzle remaining US forces to leave the north of the country. Roughly 1000 troops gearing up their heads of the border. This is a senior US official tells ABC massive cost users have been committed against the Kurdish people. At the hands of Turkey's facts militias some ice is flight is imprisoned taking advantage of the mayhem reportedly escaping making US positions. Ever more vulnerable. Turkish forces hammering America's Kurdish allies with the help of radical Islamist militias some ex al-Qaeda leaving a trail of displacement destruction and death. ABC news obtaining exclusive footage showing the battle from the Turkish side. These troops fighting would one of the Turkey supported militias. In just a week hundreds reported dead and around the world condemnation growing as the Turkish militias execute people on the road side. Or. On this flight one leading Kurdish political leader apparently dragged from that car. And shot in the head this is a war crime if verified. There's one of many hospitals throughout this area that a tracing. The wounded mainly civilians are being caught in the middle of this conflict not of their own choosing Sarah was among them just eight is sold. She was playing in the streets when a Turkish shell landed. Cut thirteen year old brother Mohamed killed. The United Nations estimates at least a 130000. People have been displaced by the fighting and that humbug likely to grow. President drums moved to pull our troops condemned by members of the same policy leaving them allied behind. Abandoning people that we frankly told that we were going to be wet. Is disheartening depressing frankly it's week. Tennis commanders gave America or choice are the coming helpers and I'll battle with Turkey impose a no fly zone. Wouldn't to look to someone else and that's exactly what's happened right now we're seeing Syrian regime forces rolling in this direction. Backed by Russia and the Kurds take keep telling us they feel betrayed by America. And no and in the region will ever take America's would Frist ever again. He impanel ABC news on the Syrian Turkish border. In panel and his team doing great reporting for us there and hope they're being safe thank you Ian I want turnout ABC's senior pentagon reporter Louis Martinez does Lou you've been tracking this. With us over the last couple days so give us an update what right now is happening with full withdrawal of US troops from the region. John Moore talking about as a thousand US troops in northern Syria that are preparing to leave the country. I'm most likely into Iraq because that's the closest country but US official tells with the may be going to elsewhere in the region as well. The plan right now is that over the coming weeks to have up to thirty days to withdraw fully from northern Syria but it overcoming gays are gonna see these teams. There to spread out all over and aren't in Syria and repositioning themselves as some of the larger bases of them point. Most of their equipment will either be taken out the land vehicle or by air and then ultimately the most of the personnel. On that are inside Syria to be taken out by aircraft. That's the plan right now to kinda makes sense because when you look at the video about all the violence going on. On the roadways there are all the checkpoints being established by some of these Turkish fighters. It's not a secure situation for US military troops if they were to make a land bridge over east into Iraq. Yet and you mentioned that there the violence the numbers of course we've been tracking them act as they keep going what are we hearing right now. About the latest reports of violence happening on the border. Well the numbers of fluctuating depending on who he attacking John but some of the information is that it could be as many as several hundred. Fighters after Kurdish fighters I have been killed in the fighting that's according to the Turks. On the Kurds themselves are saying that other numbers are much lower. A bullet they're focused on in the civilian numbers I think one of the main things that we should be talking about here is how this is actually not the Turkish military. That is undertaking the ground action inside of Syria. Instead it's these Turkish militias made up of Syrian Arab fighters. Is some cases as you heard in panel they're talking about these are former al-Qaeda fighters. We've even heard some of them are former ice is fighters Islamic extremists who are being supported by Turkey they're the ones who were carrying out the ground invasion inside. Northern Syria and they are the ones that are reportedly carrying out these atrocities on there we're hearing so much about. Yeah and I know you in the team and in speaking to so many current and former US military officials trying to get a sense on just how bad the situation this is here's what one senior national official told Ari BC's Martha Raddatz they write it's disgraceful and dishonest to suggest that STF Kurds are letting prices fighters out of prison. 111000 Kurds died fighting and defeating license and putting those fighters in those prisons. They have a choice they can fight for their lives and their families protect our forces or guard the prisons they cannot do all three. All senior officials should denounce that seem and that's we heard from a current. Senior national security official telling her ABC's Martha Raddatz so Louie that that question to you right there as far as what we're seeing. What have we heard at the moment as far as the Kurds turning to help from Saadat. Siege machines. Saint John this is exactly what was anticipated that the United States would be seen as betraying or abandoning the Kurds. What they have been saying for a little past week or so is that they would turn either to the Russians were to be assigned regime. For assistance. In ink in fighting off the Turkish offensive into northern Syria and that's exactly what's happened on a member wrote a memo of understanding has been reached between. I mean the Kurds and in the aside regime. Let's not forget that this civil war started as many groups were fighting against the Asad regime including the Kurds want a greater autonomy in eastern Syria. Now they are linking up with he regime that they rebelled against eight years ago. What we're seeing is that these and government forces. Some of them have moved into the town outside a man aged. Others out further off to the east at an air base there. They aren't we were told that they are not going into these Kurdish held cities but there are meaning on the outskirts any idea I guess is that they will be. The ones helping to repel others Turkish offensive I mean war makes for strange bedfellows and this is just another example. Absolutely hang you the team are tracking that all Louis stick with me if you can because we just heard from the leader of the United States senate Mitch McConnell rare statement. Coming out talking about the violence right there here's aegis are released to ABC he wrote I'm each gravely concerned by recent events. In Syria and bury our nation's apparent response thus far. Interestingly though one missing from their president trumpet he goes on to see Turkey is our NATO ally has legitimate security concerns stemming from the conflict in Syria. But Turkey's offensive against our Syrian Kurdish partners is jeopardizing years of hard won progress in the fight. Against crisis let's bring in to join us right now another expert on this region we're turnout by Kamal Couri Sheikh. He's the senior fellow the Brookings institute and director of all of the Turkey project sir great to have you with us on this Monday afternoon your reaction to what we just heard from leader McConnell. I think the US is an hour very difficult situation. And he was described as being quote between. And long standing. And NATO ally it. And her the SPF that has called Parikh it's so close Lee would be worse against the crisis as part of the coalition. They're fighting I crisis it's a very difficult situation to be. Two B Ian. Or even your program there was a reference still may happen and also Cal's I would say. And managing this Callas is a challenge not only for the US but for many octaves in the region. And it's increasingly looking. Like the that Rashard is there are increasingly having the upper hand and may be enjoying. As soon will be enjoying and resolved there will benefit Russia has interest it together to waive the interest of the regime. And I am curious use for your expertise here because one of the things that. We've known for our reporting is that president trump has been talking for quite some time. About doing something here regarding Syria and this situation that we're seeing now on the border with Syria and the Kurds. It coming he talked about our right after he one election in 2016. It's something he spoke about last year towards the end of the year when Jim Mattis is then secretary of defense stepped down in protest over that that action ultimately did not happen at that point in time but. Here we find ourselves today. And it sounds like from everything we're gathering. It was the direct appeal from president arrow want to do something here in nineteen talk a little bit about the efforts that EU from just your analysis of this that you believe aired a one has been making directly to president trump. Since he was elected. Well I think what are facing a case. Where to eat fits really well and intro to you to martian on relations course where two sides are driven by domestic political considerations. And that goes concentrations. Have fair and very money face that themselves. In the way that we've seen in the last a week or so. On the American side the president made their prom histories electoral brace that he's going to get. The US out of these wars in Iraq in the Middle East plus there's a challenge of the impeachment process. And on the other side is a president that is facing. F facing. Key to economic difficulties. Against a background. Of losing its electoral Brady's. As was manifested in the and recent local. Local elections so sometimes. Diverting attention who outside the country. Is there classic formula. Who are probably air rallies support within the country I think this is what's happening that data call key in this situation. He and interestingly these argue the exact opposite is happening here at home seeing the fact that the president's being rebuffed by his own allies and members of congress. More often on his side saying this just was not the right move at this point in time but we're gonna have to. Wait and see where this goes thank you so much Kamal we appreciate your expertise joining us this afternoon and Louis Martinez you can follow all of our latest reporting. Up online right now what And the team model full recap tonight on world news tonight Louis thank you as well we're gonna switch gears because the other story that we are following every second of the day here it feels like it's been a year it's only been about three weeks believed or not it is the impeachment inquiry. Into president trump where is this going right now congress is they just mention they're coming back to he's a travel day tomorrow they're gonna be back. Up on Capitol Hill resuming some of the work that you would think over a holiday would not be happening but. Actually it has there's a lot of developments on this to take a look at the three things we think right now you need to be paying attention to number one. Where are we going here on these depositions we've so far had a deposition of a senior. Current or former administration official in the trump administration over the last several weeks that is not slowing down we of one up there today several more this week. The other thing we need to talk about is Rudy Giuliani the president's personal attorney. What is his status we saw the president at Percy at the end of last week that he was not with him didn't know he is still is lawyer. Then they have lunch together on Saturday in everything seems hokey del key. We have to keep an eye there and lastly Hunter Biden the big story everyone's going to be talking about heading into this debate questions being raised up former vice president. Joseph Biden's son. And his business interest overseas we have a great team here to break this down we're gonna start with my colleague Catherine folders up on Capitol Hill she's been out there for every single weapon of these depositions. That have gone late into the night so Catherine happy Monday I know you were their late on Friday night for depositions where we start this week. It really does feel like eight years is that day Kim lately been through here but you're right we're starting off this holiday with Fiona hill she's the president's. A former top Russian advisors and she's appears is the worst. John White House official. The National Security Council to come up here and testified behind closed doors now remember this is all happening behind closed doors but what she could. Sheds some light on his. Is into that Ukraine episode now she was there when Rudy Giuliani was essentially. Flooding this shadow campaign with the State Department so Democrats are hoping to get more information out of there she was not. They are specifically at the White House the national security council for that. Ukraine call for the president's call the Ukrainian president but still she won't have knowledge they're hoping she will have knowledge of the events. Leading up to that call in night. Other than hostile foreign leaders. And and obviously that's happening today we have Morse it's more couple current State Department officials that are me coming up in the middle of this week but really the blockbuster data going to be watching for. He's the current ambassador to the EU Gordon sunlight. Yeah and remember he was blocked have a direction of the White House by the State Department last week he ready to testify. Now he's under subpoena heat he will be showing up here on Thursday jumble of what's fascinating about this. Testimony is that Republicans this seems like you're really counting on someone to be in exculpatory witness. For the president in what we're learning to reporting in the Washington Post. Pass to do with that quid pro quo that we keep. That we keep discussing now Sutherland is and those text messages that we reported on said that he had no knowledge of the put pro quo that the president's intentions were were being misunderstood but no morning. Two the Washington Post they're saying. That he how to overhaul of the president and the president mutilated his intentions to him. But someone doesn't know if he was necessarily at the president was necessarily being. Honestly I'm seeing a Democrats are likely to use that behind closed doors in the deposition to essentially say this administration has no. Exculpatory witnesses yet and of course that is one witness that Republicans have been telling us they were hoping I would actually be on the president's side but of course that reporting you mention. In the post over the weekend. May suggest otherwise as we noted though he still in his position so. We'll see were read out we get they are all of these depositions as we should point out have all been done behind closed doors. Nothing in front of the public yet but Catherine let's switch gears ever so slightly if we can. Because one person that had a little bit of a topsy turvy week. Was Rudy Giuliani. So we know where things are at the moment we know that the southern district of New York has indicted two his associates involved in he's independent investigation. In G Ukraine related to matters involving the former vice president Joseph Biden and his son. Hunter Biden those two currently in a jail here in Alexandria Virginia they're expected to go up for first appearance. Up in New York federal court later this week but what is the status Catherine based on our reporting. Bernie Giuliani right now at the moment president now admits he's as lawyer Burnett. Well it's an incredible series events at the hasn't laid out his two associates arrested and indicted last week the next day John as we've reported. We learn that the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani is actually under investigation out of the relates to the relationship. That he has with those who people who were arrested just. Two days before now hasn't Manson the president couldn't say when asked of Giuliani steelworkers at NM moments later Giuliani said he still represented them. At any tweeted about and then a nice way on Saturday and by Sunday they work. Still having lunch at the golf club as he reported together but I think what's significant about this city you and I've been hearing at the same from sources is that. The true world and folks closer to trouble really worried about Giuliani unit in the legal ramifications could come from this investigation what effect really antennae can have a the president. Yeah we're gonna have to wait and see where this one develop certainly a lot more to come there Catherine folders. Up on Capitol Hill thank you much appreciated coming back inside the bureau we start off talking. About Hunter Biden as well I'm bringing in my colleague in the investigative unity BC's Luke Bergen men who's been covering. The Hunter Biden scenario for the last several months that this has been a long. Tangled web but I think the big headline today is that from his rally over the weekend the president was saying where's Hunter Biden where's Hunter Biden. We found him. Richard it. And they are several questions he's gonna have to answer I think it really boils down to basic ones though and on the one hand it's important to keep this in the context of the election I don't think we be having this conversation. If his father wasn't running for president so I think it's really important figure out. What Joseph Biden knew if any thing about hunter Biden's business endeavors. And he's gonna have to give a pretty convincing pitches to if he's gonna say that they had no conversations as he said in the past we know how close they are. He's gonna have to answer that question I think second. Did he think he did anything wrong at Hunter Biden recognize the appearance of a conflict of interest he's gonna have to talk about that. Again he and his father have both said that there's nothing to see here no problems no conflicts. But ethics experts have said otherwise. And he's gonna have to talk about it. And and look you know also the fact of the matter is that the campaign also asked to address some of the problems. They have here is they have not been quick to respond the fact that some activities that Hunter Biden was doing was when the vice president was serving in office. That's right made brush this off for a long time that you can see now they're ramping it up can take this very seriously so over the weekend they've rolled out this. Sweeping government ethics plan they talked about you know several. Issues they mention prison term by name they'll say given not to conflicts of interest so it's definitely something they're keeping them. And the other thing he said is that there be no member of the Biden family that would have an office in the west wing obviously referring to a bunker trump and Jared Kushner but. We're gonna watch this big ABC exclusive is rolling out tomorrow our colleague any robot sent death sat down with Hunter Biden over the weekend. Take a look at this. I have been doctor web. Regardless of where you re here Hunter Biden and exclusive new question off limits as you. And your father ever discussing France starting tomorrow president trump likely will see this interview anything you'd like him to hear from him on. ABC's senior robots there with that big exclusive is being me just say he'll catch it tomorrow morning beginning at 7 AM. Right here on ABC on Good Morning America we are gonna switch gears though because. Speaking of Joseph Biden he's got a and had to refine our colleague Devin Dwyer who's been on the ground. Keeping track of everyone out there as he get ready for another and debate night in America. Devin you've been talking to some Ohio voters were they telling them. I've been talking to voters John have also been taken pumpkins look at this beauty right here where in new just north of Columbus, Ohio right now where trump country leave bank gating an earful. On impeachment job at a got to tell you people think it's seriously appeared they are not Halloween. Every twist and turn in this impeachment fight like we are back in the bubble it is fascinating people. Very concerned about even talking to the media. Not because they don't trust the media but because they're afraid their friends and neighbors might actually hear what they believe it was really interest you today. How polarizing and the issue is in fact we started the morning at a coffee shop in downtown Columbus personal. Do you think this controversy. That's. Call them coming from Washington we'll us right now I'm Washington. He's an important thing doors were pair. I think it is important in one sense of the word because they think it's important our president acts and how he conducts himself any president not doing it it. Asbestos they can and leaving impeachment and her. Stacks. Out it could money on payment and ending the market we act he's yes. Points from readers up. I'm back up it. Could give me anything specially we the Arie and terror or aren't. John stock portfolios aside as ash a lot of dismay out here on both sides and it's even come to this. With impeachment and a real frustration about the facts people want to get the facts are looking forward to seeing what this impeachment inquiry produces and there actually. Quite frustrated irritated me. At turns here with where they can find the facts are totally should check out ABC news of course there's a a lot of frustration right now of people don't have a sense of the story. John and and DeVon I'm curious what was your particular. Dean Taylor stranded details that you felt people were latching onto more than others in your conversations that voters thing. I was I was I was struck down where she asked if. You people whether they could name. The Ukrainian president I didn't find anybody here that knew any of the Ukrainian names in this convoluted story. Involving president fronts phone call which tells you a lot people. Their sort of digesting the broad strokes about impeach him but they are not in on any of the details. Even those two guys are arrested last week in. I earned what are their names inning rally and she's the you're telling the air. Plot and headed to achieve really is interesting I DeVon don't movie's gonna bring in our colleagues Brian Schneider John. Or pumpkin spice sire filling your color and sixty you know that's right let me bring let me bring our colleagues during shot she's been out on the campaign trail for us she is a member of -- -- campaign embed team he is arena I know you've been tracking a bunch to candidate they're making their way over. But Q Ohio for tomorrow night's debate what the crap like so far. Hi dying at a cup of the few of them over the weekend now as you know there are a lot of candidates on the state this weekend. Actually tomorrow twelve of them. Apple is he really big challenge gas that are public heiress. How to make her voice perjury that did eight she says you really can't have serious policy discussion in a minute 152. But of course all those and it added try their hardest to bring their point that rod. I'll get near peak that he gets how he's what he's a focus on he said he's gonna try really hard to clarify his Medicare for all want that plan. And of course there's one out there who knows exactly what he doesn't want to focus side and that senator Bernie Sanders is needed very clear. He did not want to talk about is why it died recent heart attack. He wants to keep that have a seat to focus on those issues Donna Olson spoke to a few candidates. We have not made it eight seats tomorrow and that is at governor. Plus people and Michael Bennett won't steeple up. He says that most here in Iowa don't even watch the debate he says he's going to be back in Montana where he had day job. I get this he doesn't even know if he's gonna watch that debate bar night. And Michael Bennett on the other hand he's going to be right here an island he says he will be watching that debate that is exactly where idol is well he writes the failure to bar night. I've read the latest but what they ate it throughout the week with a. Syrian shot thank you very much and hay DeVon I wanna go back to you before you wrap up because dozens were coming on the air. It kills and we have one of these a second we have a new poll quinnipiac releasing a new. National poll take the numbers look right up on the screen it is good poll for Elizabeth Warren DeVon 30% for her 27%. For Joseph Biden and Bernie Sanders. Down 11%. He's just into the beginning. Of singing I'll double digits. Yet it is just one poll to snapshot as you know better than anybody John that this is really telling we started to see now these two front runners and a number of polls over the past week or so. Really coalescing around Biden warned Sanders their sort of in third Rudy chads Harris kind of enforce. It's really interest in that as we head into this fourth debate that that. Horse race is shaping up that way I gotta tie it. Lot of people were down a westar go earlier today talking to people in that town they're excited about the debate tomorrow night isn't the first time John. In presidential history that there will be twelve candidates on one stage at the same time. So hard that we were four debates in Iraq she's seen in expanded field but its new fascinating to see told C Gabbert. Tom's Dyer making his debut tomorrow night's a lot to watch for in that fourth debate. And you in the Timor have an all we have two big exclusives coming any BC tomorrow of course. On the briefing room Tamar DeVon you're gonna sure everybody how to make it Jacko lantern out of that pumpkin XTO. No reaction from DeVon at all on that Horry can't hear me here not reacting how. I have a lot of distract available little jump in Bob be over here that the producer. I don't know John I will carve your face into this pumpkin across your face in this. Don't have too much more weather and equipment and broad exactly paints DeVon at of course the other exclusive we mentioned a little earlier in the show Amy robots exclusive interview and Hunter Biden. That is gonna kick off tomorrow morning on Good Morning America and you can catch full re pizza that. Throughout the day right here at ABC news live and that's do it for us in the briefing Herm I'm John Santee -- make sure to download BBC news app for any news any time. You are watching ABC news.

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