Engel: ‘Absolute Concern’ Over WH Syria Announcement | Morning Joe | MSNBC


SO SLOW.>>THEY CAN READ THE NUMBERS.>>THEY CAN READ THE NUMBERS.>>TO GET IT.>>TO GET IT.>>WE’RE GOING TO GET NICK IN>>WE’RE GOING TO GET NICK IN HERE IN A MOMENT. HERE IN A MOMENT. WE WANT TO GET TO THE MAJOR U.S. WE WANT TO GET TO THE MAJOR U.S. POLICY CHANGE AT THE MIDDLE POLICY CHANGE AT THE MIDDLE EAST. EAST. LATE LAST NIGHT THE WHITE HOUSE LATE LAST NIGHT THE WHITE HOUSE ANNOUNCED THAT U.S. TROOPS ARE ANNOUNCED THAT U.S. TROOPS ARE BEGINNING TO WITHDRAW FROM BEGINNING TO WITHDRAW FROM NORTHERN SYRIA NEAR THE TURKISH NORTHERN SYRIA NEAR THE TURKISH BORDER. BORDER. THE DECISION FOLLOWED A PHONE THE DECISION FOLLOWED A PHONE CALL PRESIDENT TRUMP HAD WITH CALL PRESIDENT TRUMP HAD WITH TURKEY’S PRESIDENT ERDOGAN TURKEY’S PRESIDENT ERDOGAN YESTERDAY IN A STATEMENT FROM YESTERDAY IN A STATEMENT FROM THE PRESS SECRETARY, THE TRUMP THE PRESS SECRETARY, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SAYS THAT, QUOTE, ADMINISTRATION SAYS THAT, QUOTE, TURKEY WILL SOON BE MOVING TURKEY WILL SOON BE MOVING FORWARD WITH ITS LONG PLAN TO FORWARD WITH ITS LONG PLAN TO OPERATION INTO NORTHERN SYRIA. OPERATION INTO NORTHERN SYRIA. THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES WILL NOT SUPPORT OR BE INVOLVED WILL NOT SUPPORT OR BE INVOLVED IN THE OPERATION AND UNITED IN THE OPERATION AND UNITED STATES FORCES HAVING DEFEATED STATES FORCES HAVING DEFEATED THE ISIS TERRITORIAL CALIPHATE THE ISIS TERRITORIAL CALIPHATE WILL NO LONGER BE IN THE WILL NO LONGER BE IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA. IMMEDIATE AREA. NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT RICHARD ENGEL CORRESPONDENT RICHARD ENGEL JOINS US NOW BY PHONE. JOINS US NOW BY PHONE. RICHARD, WHAT DO YOU HAVE? RICHARD, WHAT DO YOU HAVE?>>Reporter: WELL, THIS IS A>>Reporter: WELL, THIS IS A MAJOR DEVELOPMENT. MAJOR DEVELOPMENT. JOE MIGHT BE RIGHT THAT THE JOE MIGHT BE RIGHT THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL EVENTUALLY REMOVE PRESIDENT TRUMP. REMOVE PRESIDENT TRUMP. BUT IS HE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW BUT IS HE PRESIDENT RIGHT NOW AND THAT HAS VERY IMMEDIATE AND THAT HAS VERY IMMEDIATE QUESTIONS FOR AND CONCERNS FOR QUESTIONS FOR AND CONCERNS FOR THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN NORTHERN THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN NORTHERN SYRIA. SYRIA. I’M TALKING ABOUT THE KURDS. I’M TALKING ABOUT THE KURDS. THIS IS A POPULATION OF U.S. THIS IS A POPULATION OF U.S. ALLIES, THE PEOPLE WHO JOINED ALLIES, THE PEOPLE WHO JOINED WITH AMERICAN SPECIAL OPERATIONS WITH AMERICAN SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES AND DEFEATED THE ISIS FORCES AND DEFEATED THE ISIS CALIPHATE. CALIPHATE. THERE ARE PROBABLY ABOUT 50 TO THERE ARE PROBABLY ABOUT 50 TO 60,000 OF THE FIGHTERS, THEY 60,000 OF THE FIGHTERS, THEY LIVE IN AN AREA, THEY CONTROL AN LIVE IN AN AREA, THEY CONTROL AN AREA OF APPROXIMATELY 2 MILLION AREA OF APPROXIMATELY 2 MILLION PEOPLE. PEOPLE. THEY HAVE BEEN PROTECTED BY THEY HAVE BEEN PROTECTED BY AMERICAN FORCES ON THE GROUND, AMERICAN FORCES ON THE GROUND, THOSE AMERICANS THERE HAVE BEEN THOSE AMERICANS THERE HAVE BEEN MAKING SURE THAT THE TURKS MAKING SURE THAT THE TURKS ACROSS THE BORDER DO NOT COME IN ACROSS THE BORDER DO NOT COME IN AND INVADE THEIR ENCLAVE AND AND INVADE THEIR ENCLAVE AND THEY FEAR THAT IF THE TURKS DO THEY FEAR THAT IF THE TURKS DO THAT, THERE WILL BE MASSIVE THAT, THERE WILL BE MASSIVE ETHNIC CLEANSING. ETHNIC CLEANSING. THE AMERICANS HAVE NOW BEEN THE AMERICANS HAVE NOW BEEN ORDERED TO STAND ASIDE. ORDERED TO STAND ASIDE. THE TURKISH PRESIDENT HAS SAID THE TURKISH PRESIDENT HAS SAID NUMEROUS TIMES THAT HE IS GOING NUMEROUS TIMES THAT HE IS GOING TO INVADE. TO INVADE. SO OUR ALLIES WHO LOST 10,000 SO OUR ALLIES WHO LOST 10,000 PEOPLE FIGHTING AGAINST ISIS WHO PEOPLE FIGHTING AGAINST ISIS WHO DID, IN FACT, DEFEAT THE ISIS DID, IN FACT, DEFEAT THE ISIS CALIPHATE NOW WORRY BECAUSE OF CALIPHATE NOW WORRY BECAUSE OF THAT THIS DECISION, OVERNIGHT THAT THIS DECISION, OVERNIGHT SURPRISE DECISION, THAT ARE SURPRISE DECISION, THAT ARE THERE WILL BE GENOCIDE. THERE WILL BE GENOCIDE. I JUST SPOKE TO A BRITISH I JUST SPOKE TO A BRITISH OFFICIAL. OFFICIAL. HE SAID THE AMERICANS HAVE HE SAID THE AMERICANS HAVE BETRAYED US. BETRAYED US. THEY HAVE OPENED THE DOOR FOR A THEY HAVE OPENED THE DOOR FOR A TURKISH MASSACRE. TURKISH MASSACRE. WE ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO FIGHT WE ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO FIGHT AGAINST ISIS. AGAINST ISIS. ISIS MIGHT RETURN TO THE REGION ISIS MIGHT RETURN TO THE REGION AND THE ONLY ONE RESPONSIBLE IF AND THE ONLY ONE RESPONSIBLE IF THAT HAPPENS WILL BE THE THAT HAPPENS WILL BE THE AMERICANS. AMERICANS. THEY ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE THEY ARE THE ONES RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS. FOR THIS. SO THERE IS A STATE OF ABSOLUTE SO THERE IS A STATE OF ABSOLUTE CONCERN, PANIC EVEN, AMONG OUR CONCERN, PANIC EVEN, AMONG OUR VERY CLOSE KURDISH ALLIES AFTER VERY CLOSE KURDISH ALLIES AFTER THIS OVERNIGHT SURPRISE THIS OVERNIGHT SURPRISE DECISION. DECISION. SO, YES, HE IS STILL PRESIDENT, SO, YES, HE IS STILL PRESIDENT, YES, THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES, AND YES, THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES, AND THEY SAY THEY ARE BEING BETRAYED THEY SAY THEY ARE BEING BETRAYED AND, FRANKLY, IT IS VERY HARD TO AND, FRANKLY, IT IS VERY HARD TO ARGUE THAT THEY ARE NOT BEING ARGUE THAT THEY ARE NOT BEING BETRAYED. BETRAYED.>>SIR RICHARD, NICK HERE IN NEW>>SIR RICHARD, NICK HERE IN NEW YORK. YORK. THAT THE EARLY HOUR, WHAT CAN WE THAT THE EARLY HOUR, WHAT CAN WE SAY ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S OWN SAY ABOUT THE PRESIDENT’S OWN KIND OF RATIONAL FOR THIS KIND OF RATIONAL FOR THIS ZMITION WHAT’S DRIVING IT? ZMITION WHAT’S DRIVING IT? WHAT WE SEE IN SOME OF THE EARLY WHAT WE SEE IN SOME OF THE EARLY REPORTS SAY MIX IN A PHONE CALL REPORTS SAY MIX IN A PHONE CALL OF ERDOGAN AND HIS OWN DESIRE TO OF ERDOGAN AND HIS OWN DESIRE TO SEE AMERICANS OUT OF THAT FIGHT. SEE AMERICANS OUT OF THAT FIGHT. IS THERE ANY REPORTING THAT YOU IS THERE ANY REPORTING THAT YOU HAVE ABOUT HIS REASONS HERE? HAVE ABOUT HIS REASONS HERE?>>YEAH, I KNOW THE STORY VERY>>YEAH, I KNOW THE STORY VERY WELL. WELL. I’VE WORKED WITH THE AMERICAN I’VE WORKED WITH THE AMERICAN SPECIAL FORCES WHO ARE THERE, SPECIAL FORCES WHO ARE THERE, I’VE FOLLOWED THIS STORY I’VE FOLLOWED THIS STORY CLOSELY. CLOSELY. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WANTED TO DO PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WANTED TO DO THIS FOR A LONG TIME. THIS FOR A LONG TIME. THE KURDS WHO ARE IN THIS BUBBLE THE KURDS WHO ARE IN THIS BUBBLE IN NORTHERN SYRIA, AGAIN, THEY IN NORTHERN SYRIA, AGAIN, THEY CONTROL AN AREA OF ROUGHLY 2 CONTROL AN AREA OF ROUGHLY 2 MILLION PEOPLE. MILLION PEOPLE. THERE ARE ABOUT 6050 TO 60,000 O THERE ARE ABOUT 6050 TO 60,000 O THEM ARMED. THEM ARMED. THEY’VE HAD A DECENT AMOUNT OF THEY’VE HAD A DECENT AMOUNT OF SUCCESS CONTROLLING THIS AREA. SUCCESS CONTROLLING THIS AREA. IT’S BEEN LET’S SAY A STABLE IT’S BEEN LET’S SAY A STABLE AREA. AREA. BUT ACROSS THE BORDER IN TURKEY BUT ACROSS THE BORDER IN TURKEY ERDOGAN SEIZED THIS BUBBLE OF ERDOGAN SEIZED THIS BUBBLE OF KURDISH CONTROL JUST ACROSS THE KURDISH CONTROL JUST ACROSS THE BUBBLE FROM HIM AS AN EMINENT BUBBLE FROM HIM AS AN EMINENT THREAT. THREAT. HE SEES THEM AS TERRORISTS EVEN HE SEES THEM AS TERRORISTS EVEN THOUGH THEY FOUGHT ISIS. THOUGH THEY FOUGHT ISIS. HE SAYS THEY’RE GOING TO CREATE HE SAYS THEY’RE GOING TO CREATE INSTABILITY FOR THE REGION AND INSTABILITY FOR THE REGION AND HE WORRIES THAT IF THEY HAVE HE WORRIES THAT IF THEY HAVE MORE SUCCESS THAT IT WILL CAUSE MORE SUCCESS THAT IT WILL CAUSE KURDS INSIDE TURKEY WILL TO RISE KURDS INSIDE TURKEY WILL TO RISE UP AGAINST HIM. UP AGAINST HIM. HE HAS LONG WANTED TO TAKE HE HAS LONG WANTED TO TAKE ACTION, TO TAKE MILITARY ACTION ACTION, TO TAKE MILITARY ACTION AGAINST THE KURDS IN SYRIA. AGAINST THE KURDS IN SYRIA. THE ONLY THING PREVENTING THAT THE ONLY THING PREVENTING THAT HAS BEEN THE U.S. MILITARY HAS BEEN THE U.S. MILITARY PRESENCE. PRESENCE. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WANTED TO PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WANTED TO WASH HIS HANDS OF THE SITUATION WASH HIS HANDS OF THE SITUATION FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. FROM THE VERY BEGINNING. HE HAS SAID REPEATEDLY HE’S HE HAS SAID REPEATEDLY HE’S GOING TO LEAVE, HE’S GOING TO GOING TO LEAVE, HE’S GOING TO PULL THE TROOPS OUT. PULL THE TROOPS OUT. THE AMERICANS AND THE KURDS THE AMERICANS AND THE KURDS THERE HAVE FOUGHT AGAINST ISIS, THERE HAVE FOUGHT AGAINST ISIS, THEY DEFEATED ISIS. THEY DEFEATED ISIS. HE’S WANTED TO DO THIS TIME AND HE’S WANTED TO DO THIS TIME AND TIME AGAIN BUT IT WAS ONLY WHEN TIME AGAIN BUT IT WAS ONLY WHEN PEOPLE LIKE DEFENSE SECRETARY PEOPLE LIKE DEFENSE SECRETARY MATTIS RESISTED THAT HE HAD MATTIS RESISTED THAT HE HAD PAUSE AND DIDN’T DO IT. PAUSE AND DIDN’T DO IT. THIS IS THE ISSUE THAT DEFENSE THIS IS THE ISSUE THAT DEFENSE SECRETARY MATTIS RESIGNED OVER. SECRETARY MATTIS RESIGNED OVER. HE COULD NOT ACCEPT A BETRAYAL HE COULD NOT ACCEPT A BETRAYAL OF OUR ALLIES. OF OUR ALLIES. THE SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE THE SPECIAL ENVOY FOR THE COUNTERISIS MISSION RESIGNED COUNTERISIS MISSION RESIGNED PUBLICLY BECAUSE HE COULD NOT PUBLICLY BECAUSE HE COULD NOT ACCEPT THIS BETRAYAL. ACCEPT THIS BETRAYAL. THE AMERICAN SPECIAL OPERATORS THE AMERICAN SPECIAL OPERATORS THEMSELVES DON’T ACCEPT THIS THEMSELVES DON’T ACCEPT THIS BETRAYAL AND HAVE BEEN TRYING TO BETRAYAL AND HAVE BEEN TRYING TO INTERACT. INTERACT. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WANTED THIS, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS WANTED THIS, THERE HAS BEEN RESISTANCE TO IT, THERE HAS BEEN RESISTANCE TO IT, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RESISTING BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE RESISTING HIM ARE NO LONGER AROUND HIM SO HIM ARE NO LONGER AROUND HIM SO NOW WE HAVE THIS CONVERSATION NOW WE HAVE THIS CONVERSATION AND HE DID WHAT HE ALWAYS WANTED AND HE DID WHAT HE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO, WASH HIS HANDS OF THE TO DO, WASH HIS HANDS OF THE SITUATION AND LET THE CHIPS FALL SITUATION AND LET THE CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY AND THOSE CHIPS WHERE THEY MAY AND THOSE CHIPS ARE ABOUT TO FALL ON TOP OF THE ARE ABOUT TO FALL ON TOP OF THE HEADS OF OUR VERY CLOSE ALLIES. HEADS OF OUR VERY CLOSE ALLIES. THEY LOST OVER 10,000 PEOPLE THEY LOST OVER 10,000 PEOPLE FIGHTING AGAINST ISIS. FIGHTING AGAINST ISIS.>>WOW.>>WOW. RICHARDEN RICHARDEN RICHARD ENGEL, THANK YOU VERY RICHARD ENGEL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MUCH. HIS REPORTING IS ONLINE AT HIS REPORTING IS ONLINE AT NBCNEWS.COM. NBCNEWS.COM.>>WELL, YOU KNOW, MIKA, THE>>WELL, YOU KNOW, MIKA, THE PEOPLE WHO WILL BE HAPPY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WILL BE HAPPY ABOUT THIS THAT DONALD TRUMP HAS THIS THAT DONALD TRUMP HAS BETRAYED OUR ALLIES, AMERICA’S BETRAYED OUR ALLIES, AMERICA’S ALLIES THAT HELPED US CRUSH ISIS ALLIES THAT HELPED US CRUSH ISIS OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS OR SO, OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS OR SO, WE SAW THEM IN THE PICTURE. WE SAW THEM IN THE PICTURE. VLADIMIR PUTIN LOVES IT. VLADIMIR PUTIN LOVES IT. AND THE IRANIANS LOVE IT. AND THE IRANIANS LOVE IT. AND, OF COURSE, ERDOGAN LOVES AND, OF COURSE, ERDOGAN LOVES IT. IT. ALL THE AUTOCRATS LOVE IT. ALL THE AUTOCRATS LOVE IT. WHO DOESN’T LOVE IT? WHO DOESN’T LOVE IT? WELL, PENTAGON LEADERS WHO WERE WELL, PENTAGON LEADERS WHO WERE WARNING THAT ISIS MAY RISE

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