Trump misspells his defence secretary’s name in rambling rant about securing oil in Syria

President praises ‘Mark Esperanto’ in confused tweet

Zamira Rahim
Sunday 20 October 2019 16:29 BST
Trump angrily denies giving Turkey's Erdogan 'green light' for Syria invasion

Donald Trump has misspelled his defence secretary’s name while discussing his controversial decision to withdraw US troops from northern Syria.

The US president tried to quote Mark Esper in a tweet, but instead he referred to him as “Mark Esperanto”.

He wrote: “Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, “The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly.”

In a rambling conclusion the president wrote: “USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the Oil. Bringing soldiers home!”

The president later deleted the original tweet and reposted it. This time he correctly spelled Mr Esper’s name.

“New areas being resettled with Kurds. U.S. soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zone. We have secured the Oil,” Mr Esper said, according to the president’s second post.

Mr Trump added: “Ending endless wars!”

Mr Esper was sworn into the role in July 2019, after the defence secretary post remained vacant for seven months.

He replaced Jim Mattis, after the general clashed with the president over withdrawing US troops from Syria.

Mr Esper is now at the heart of one of Mr Trump’s most controversial foreign policy decisions.

Earlier this month the US president abruptly announced that troops would leave northern Syria.

Days later, Turkey began to invade the area and started an offensive against Kurdish fighters – who had previously led the struggle against Isis, alongside members of the US military.

The president misspelled his defence secretary’s name (Twitter)

American vice president Mike Pence was subsequently forced to broker a ceasefire in the region.

But Both side have since accused the other of breaching this truce.

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Mr Trump has been also criticised by members of his own Republican party over the decision to withdraw troops.

“Withdrawing US forces from Syria is a grave strategic mistake. It will leave the American people and homeland less safe, embolden our enemies, and weaken important alliances,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell wrote in a Washington Post opinion column.

The controversy came as Mr Trump struggles with an impeachment inquiry and plummeting approval ratings.

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