'I'm really, really happy that our delegation was successful.'
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham hailed the purported "cease-fire" between Syria and Kurdish forces during a Fox News appearance on Friday, even as the network ran footage of ongoing warfare.
The Trump administration claimed on Thursday that it had negotiated a "cease-fire" in northern Syria, bringing a halt to the Turkish offensive. Almost immediately, the Turkish government rejected the claim and reports have indicated ongoing military operations despite the administration's efforts to change headlines.
The White House continued to push its version of events during Grisham's interview on Friday, regardless.
"[Donald Trump] sent a delegation over and they were successful in the cease-fire but that takes time," Grisham said alongside footage of smoldering buildings and ongoing fighting in the region.
She added, "I'm really, really happy that our delegation was successful, and we'll leave it at that."
Grisham also defended the administration's decision to abandon the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a move that has been slammed by even Republicans as a "a bloodstain in the annals of American history."
Turkey began its offensive on Oct. 9, days after Trump announced that he would pull U.S. troops from the region. Trump made the decision reportedly without consulting any military aides or allies, after speaking with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the phone. During that call, Trump seemed to acknowledge Erdogan's planned military operation in the region.
Grisham attempted to paint that acknowledgment in a favorable light on Friday.
"When President Erdogan made it clear that he was going to invade, the president acted decisively to pull our military out of harm's way," she said, arguing that Trump's decisions were made as part of his "obligation to look out for the troops and to protect this country."
The Kurds have been a vital part of the fight against ISIS, an operation begun by President Barack Obama. Around 11,000 Kurds have died fighting the terror group.
Grisham's attempt to claim victory over Trump's supposed "cease-fire" comes as the United Nations launches an investigation into possible chemical weapons use against the Kurds by Turkey.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.