Residents of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian towns of Qamishli and Tal Tamr protested the withdrawal of U.S. troops by throwing potatoes and blocking roads, Monday, October 21
READ MORE: U.S. troops have crossed into Iraq from Syria. A convoy crossed into Iraq Monday, headed for Irbil. They were pelted with rotten potatoes by angry residents as they drove through the streets of Duhok in the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
Defense Chief Mark Esper said all American forces leaving Syria would be deployed to western Iraq and could carry out anti-terrorist operations against Islamic State. He did not rule out possible U.S. counterterrorism raids from Iraq into Syria. But he said plans would be developed over time and include discussions with NATO allies in the coming days. He said if U.S. forces return to Syria they would be protected by American aircraft.
Esper also said the five-day cease-fire between Turkish and Kurdish forces in northern Syria signed last Thursday "generally seems to be holding." However, Turkey said one of its soldiers was killed and another wounded Sunday after an attack by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northeast Syria's Tel Abyad.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a group of American lawmakers on a surprise visit to Jordan to discuss "the deepening crisis" in Syria amid a shaky U.S.-brokered cease-fire, Sunday, October 20. The visit came after bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump for his decision to withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops from northern Syria — clearing the way for Turkey's wide-ranging offensive against the Kurdish groups, who had been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State group.