Home Global Village US stands aside as Turkey launches Syria operation

US stands aside as Turkey launches Syria operation

Washington had previously sought to stop any Turkish operation against a US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia viewed by Ankara as a "terrorist" offshoot of Kurdish militants in Turkey.

Turkey

US troops in northern Syria will no longer be near the border with Turkey, nor will they support Ankara’s “long-planned operation” into the country, the White House said on Sunday.

“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘Caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” the White House said, using another acronym for the Islamic State (IS) group.

The day before, the Turkish leader warned that Ankara could launch a cross-border offensive “as soon as today, tomorrow.”

The statement, which followed US President Donald Trump’s phone call with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, also criticized “France, Germany, and other European nations” for not repatriating their citizens detained in northern Syria who had joined IS.

“Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial ‘Caliphate’ by the United States,” the statement said.

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Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan and Trump agreed during a phone call to meet in Washington next month to discuss creating a “safe zone” in northern Syria, the Turkish presidency said.

Erdogan also expressed his “frustration over the US military and security bureaucracy’s failure” to implement an August deal establishing a buffer zone on the Turkish border.

Erdogan also expressed his “frustration over the US military and security bureaucracy’s failure” to implement an August deal establishing a buffer zone on the Turkish border.

The day before, the Turkish leader warned that Ankara could launch a cross-border offensive “as soon as today, tomorrow.”

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Washington had previously sought to stop any Turkish operation against a US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia viewed by Ankara as a “terrorist” offshoot of Kurdish militants in Turkey.

The US worked closely with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia to recapture swathes of territory form the IS jihadists.

SDF warns of war

Syrian Democratic Front has warned Turkey that it will take any excursions by Turkey to be an act of war. The US backed force was instrumental in clearing the area of Islamic State fighters and keeping it under control.

The SDF is dominated by the People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia. Turkey sees the YPG as en existential threat due to its links the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting an armed insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984. The PKK is labelled a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

The Turkish president on Saturday said the operation targeting the YPG militia could “take place any day.’’

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk.

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