U.S. says Turkey's attack in Syria puts Americans at risk

02 November, 2018, 06:41 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • Mourners carry the coffin of a commander from the Syrian Democratic Forces, killed a day earlier in battles against ISIS in Hajin during his funeral in Qamishli

US-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria say Turkish military vehicles are massing near the border ahead of an expected assault that could derail their fight against ISIS in the east of the country and further strain relations between Ankara and Washington, its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the YPG terrorist organization, from the district that is located west of the Euphrates river in order to establish stability in the region.

"We have completed all preparations for the east of the Euphrates".

The SDF now controls more than a quarter of Syrian territory after its Kurdish dominated forces beat back IS jihadists with U.S. support over the past three years.

"The fighting between our forces and the Turkish side has become very intense now", the SDF spokesperson told Syria Direct on Wednesday.

Omer Taspinar is a nonresident senior fellow in the Center on 21st Century Security and Intelligence and an expert on Turkey, the European Union, Muslims in Europe, political Islam, the Middle East, and Kurdish nationalism.

"The patrols can allow the U.S. to keep Turkey in line especially in the areas of recent Turkish bombardments against the SDF", Abdulkader told Kurdistan 24. The US considers the PKK a terrorist organization, but not the YPG or SDF.

Russian state-affiliated news agency Sputnik quoted Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson as saying that the U.S. was "in touch" with both Turkey and the SDF to "de-escalate the situation" on Tuesday.


"Coordination and consultation between the United States and Turkey on issues of security concern is a better approach", he said.

The US military estimates around 2,000 IS fighters are holed up in and around Hajin along the Euphrates River valley in Deir el-Zor province near the border with Iraq.

Mr Palladino said the U.S. was fully committed to Turkey's border security but at the same time expressed Washington's commitment to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian forces.

Ankara and Washington agreed on a road map to stabilize Manbij earlier that month, amid Turkish demands for the withdrawal of Kurdish militia who helped push Islamic State from the city in 2016.

A total of 260,000 Syrian nationals have returned to a swathe of land in northern Syria where Turkey carried out a cross-border operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield", Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on November 1. Erdogan has dismissed the Pentagon's concern that the military drive could compromise the battle against ISIS in eastern Syria, where the Kurdish force is a key combatant.

Since Tuesday, Turkish armed forces carried out cross-border shelling near Tal Abyad and Kobani.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar as saying that despite promises that the YPG and other Kurdish militias "will be removed from Manbij, the terror organisations are digging trenches there like they did in Afrin".

The PKK/PYD/YPG terror groups should know that they will be buried in their own trenches, Akar added.

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