United States express concerns about Turkish attacks in Northern Syria
Turkey - SMART
On Thursday, the United States Department of State stated that "The unilateral military strikes into northwest Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us."
Robert Palladino, the US spokesperson for the Secretary of State, held a press conference and was asked about the Turkish military strikes on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) outposts in Northeastern Syria in the recent days.
Palladino said that " Coordination and consultation between the United States and Turkey on issues of security concern is a better approach. We have been in touch with Turkey and the Syria defense forces to emphasize the need to de-escalate the situation."
Palladino added that "Turkey is a NATO ally and a key partner in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and we are fully committed to our ally’s border security."
In responding to a question about Turkey's accusations for the US of supporting terrorist organizations, Palladino said that " The coordination and consultation with our Turkish ally on issues of security is the better approach. We have seen such cooperation with our – with Turkey in – with our Manbij roadmap, for example, and that’s an example of our full commitment. It’s on schedule".
Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the US did not commit to the 90 days time extension to implement the agreement on the Manbij area, Eastern Aleppo.
Palladino added that "that campaign is not over and that fight remains difficult and our Department of Defense colleagues are working closely with the Syrian defense forces who are in the midst of offensive operations against ISIS and we’re still committed to the Syria defense forces.
The US statements coincide with Turkish attacks on SDF areas in Eastern the Euphrates river. The SDF said that the Turkish Army had attacked their outposts for six times since the end of the quartet summit in Istanbul on Saturday. The statements also coincide with future joint patrols in the Manbij area following joint training.
On Tuesday, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated the Turkish Army finished its preparations to launch a military operation in Eastern Syria. Earlier, Erdogan stated that Ankara would focus its efforts on areas east of the Euphrates river instead of "wasting time" on the city of Manbij. Erdogan promised to take procedures similar to the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations.