(AP) -- AKCAKALE, Turkey — Hundreds of Islamic State supporters escaped from a holding camp in northern Syria on Sunday amid heavy clashes between invading Turkish-led forces and Kurdish fighters, and President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from the north to avoid getting caught in the fighting.
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The twin developments reflected the rapidly growing chaos in Syria in the week since Trump ordered American forces in the region to step aside, leaving the U.S.-allied Kurds wide open to attack from Turkey.
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“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” in announcing U.S. troops would leave the north. He did not say how many would withdraw but that they represent most of the 1,000 troops in Syria.