Turkey will soon begin a military operation against United States-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the White House announced on Sunday. The US will play no role in it but it still remains unclear if it will be withdrawing the 1,000-odd troops from northern Syria, reported Al Jazeera.
This came after a phone call between US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the phone call, Erdogan had expressed frustration at a lack of progress in establishing a “safe zone” in north-eastern Syria along the border with Turkey.
“Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” the statement said, according to BBC. “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 added that Turkey would take all responsibility for Islamic State group fighters captured over the past two years, and would also resettle up to two million Syrian refugees in a safe zone along the border. Currently, Turkey hosts 3.6 million Syrians from the conflict.
Turkey wants the zone to be free of Kurdish YPG militia who Turkey considers as terrorists. The YPG was a major part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the US-supported force that defeated the Islamic State group in Syria.
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