US pulls troops in north Syria, threatens Turkey sanctions

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ROBERT BURNS AP National Security Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos, cries of betrayal and threats Monday by President Donald Trump to hit Turkey with "big sanctions." Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that Trump had directed U.S. troops in northern Syria to begin pulling out "as safely and quickly as possible." He did not say Trump ordered troops to leave Syria, but that seemed like the next step in a combat zone growing more unstable by the hour. Trump defended his gamble that pulling U.S. forces out of Syria would not weaken U.S. security and credibility. He wrote on Twitter Monday that the Islamic State prisoners who have escaped amid the pandemonium in Syria can be "easily reca
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