Crisis in Syria deepened as US troops are returning to Syria over fears ISIS will take oil fields

The crisis in Syria deepened further Friday as US officials acknowledged troops are returning to the war-torn country and the Turkish president demanded President Trump turn over a key Kurdish leader.

The US will send armored vehicles and combat troops into eastern Syria to keep oil fields from potentially falling into the hands of ISIS, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

It was the latest sign that extracting the military from Syria is more uncertain and complicated than Trump is making it out to be.

This latest move could mean deploying several hundred US troops — even as a similar number are withdrawn from a separate mission closer to the border with Turkey where Russian forces have been filling the vacuum.

The tumult erupted in northern Syria this month when Trump ordered US troops in the region to stand aside as Turkey attacked Kurdish militias America relied on to squash ISIS.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that President Trump “hand over” the leader of a Kurdish militia who has been invited to testify before Congress.

“He is a terrorist with the code name Mazloum,” Erdogan told state broadcaster TRT Thursday, according to Bloomberg News. “America needs to hand over this man to us.”

Erdogan made the demand just hours after Trump praised the head of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, ­Mazloum Abdi.

A bipartisan group of senators has asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to help secure a visa for Abdi to visit the US and discuss the way forward in Syria.

“I really enjoyed my conversation with General @Maz­loumAbdi. He appreciates what we have done, and I appreciate what the Kurds have done,” Trump tweeted ­Thursday.

Leading Democrats and Republicans have fiercely criticized Trump’s troop decision, which cleared the way for Erdogan’s offensive.

The American absence has been filled by the Turks and the Russians, who have divided up security roles in the region.

Crisis in Syria deepened as US troops are returning to Syria over fears ISIS will take oil fields

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