Violence at Syria/Turkey border after US withdraws troops

Kemal Kirişci, the Director of the Turkey Project at the Brookings Institute, speaks about the United States pulling troops from the border.
8:31 | 10/14/19

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Transcript for Violence at Syria/Turkey border after US withdraws troops
I want turnout ABC's senior pentagon reporter Louis Martinez is 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 it 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 is spread out all over there aren't in Syria repositioning themselves as some of the larger bases at that 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 kind of makes sense because when you look at the video about all the violence going on. On the roadways there and 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 are fluctuating depending on who you talk to John but some of the information is that it could be as many as several hundred. Fighters inter 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 of 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 hurting 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 are carrying out the ground invasion inside. Northern Syria and they're 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 are ABC's Martha Raddatz they write it's disgraceful and dishonest to suggest that STF Kurds are letting ice is fighters out of prison. 111000 Kurds died fighting in 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. Sage machine. 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 return year to the Russians wore to the aside 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. The eighty Kurds and in the Assad 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. I'm 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 on this Turkish offensive I mean war makes for strange bedfellows and this is just another example of the. Absolutely hang you the team are tracking that all Luis they could meet 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 here here's Regis are released to ABC he wrote I mixed 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. As 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 were turnout by Kamal Couri she. 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 I'm that he was described as being called between. And long standing. And NATO ally it. And her the SPF that has called Parikh are 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 leaving your program that was in reference still may happen and all so cal also I would say. And managing this Callas is a challenge not only for the US but for many doctors 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 it and resolved there will benefit Russia as interest they have 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's coming he talked about 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 bear and van 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 a promise through his electoral brace that he's going to get. The US out of of these wars in act 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. CED economic difficulties. Against a background off losing its electoral base. 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 the air rallies support within the country I think this is what's happening that data call key in this situation. He and interestingly B could 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 is 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 Lou we think you as well.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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