Oct 18, 2019

Pompeo defends Turkey negotiations amid claims U.S. sold out the Kurds

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and Vice President Mike Pence (R) announce a ceasefire in Syria between Kurdish fighters and Turkish soldiers on Oct. 17, 2019. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing back on allegations the U.S. hung its Kurdish allies out to dry in ceasefire negotiations with Turkey, and that violence is continuing despite the deal, reports Politico.

"Our sense is, the political commitments that were made yesterday will end up being successful. We also have reporting that... the [Syrian Defense Forces] are actually beginning their departure. So key elements of the ceasefire look to be taking effect."
— Sec. Pompeo, per Politico
  • Pompeo acknowledged the lack of "perfect command and control" among the warring parties in Northern Syria, and conceded the ceasefire would ideally have taken hold in a "faster, cleaner in a more straightforward way."
  • Pompeo also said the U.S. continues to be allied with the Kurds against ISIS, and that the aim of the ceasefire was to "protect the Kurds" from Turkey.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has received some stark criticism from both Democrats and Republicans for abandoning the Kurds, who assisted the U.S. in fighting ISIS.

  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said that would be a "bloodstain" on the U.S., per Politico.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan "got everything he wanted" during the negotiations, notes Politico.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.