US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley address reporters during a media briefing at the Pentagon [Erin Scott/Reuters]

The Pentagon on Friday strongly denied accusations it was abandoning its Kurdish allies in Syria as Turkey continued its military offensive in the country’s northeast, forcing 100,000 people to flee amid heavy fighting.

“To be clear, we are not abandoning our Kurdish partner forces, and US troops remain with them in other parts of Syria. The impulsive action of President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan to invade northern Syria has put the United States in a tough situation,” the US secretary of defence, Mark Esper, told reporters.

“Nobody green-lighted this operation by Turkey, just the opposite. We pushed back very hard at

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