President Trump in a tweet on Sunday touted the Defense secretary’s comments about the ceasefire in Syria but misspelled Mark Esper’s name.
“Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, ‘The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with the Kurds,’” Trump wrote on his Twitter page.
“USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!” he continued.
About two hours later, the original tweet was deleted and the president posted a new one with the correct spelling of Esper’s name and the same comment.
Esper was asked about the five-day cease-fire Vice President Mike Pence brokered with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last Thursday as said sporadic fighting had reportedly broken out between Kurds and Turkish forces in northern Syria.
“We see a stabilization of the lines if you will on the ground. And we do get reports of intermittent fires, this and that. That doesn’t surprise me necessarily,” Esper, who Trump named to the post in June, told reporters as he headed to the Middle East.
But he also said that the US troops being pulled out of Syria will be sent to western Iraq where they will fight Islamic State terrorists.
“Things could change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal,” he said. “But that’s the game plan right now.”
The Defense secretary said the mission in Iraq is twofold.
“One is to help defend Iraq and two is to perform a counter-ISIS mission as we sort through the next steps,” Esper said. “Things could change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal, but that’s the game plan right now.”