Washington DC, Oct 11: United States President Donald Trump on Thursday put forth three options, one of which was mediation, to deal with Turkey’s invasion of northeast Syria amid escalated international worries over Ankara’s Operation Peace Spring into Syria to remove PKK/YPG groups, which it considers as terror organizations.
Turkey launched its Syria’s offensive operation on Wednesday in an attempt to remove what it called terror elements from its border along northeastern Syria. Meanwhile, Trump also announced American troops’ withdrawal from the region, who were aligned with the Kurdish-led PKK group, fighting together against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and at the border region.
On Thursday, Trump defended his troops’ pullout from Syria as saying: “We defeated 100% of the ISIS Caliphate and no longer have any troops in the area under attack by Turkey, in Syria. We did our job perfectly! Now Turkey is attacking the Kurds, who have been fighting each other for 200 years …”
Trump put forth three options to deal with Turkey’s operation into Syria. Continuing tweeting, he listed choices: “Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!”
….We have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2019
A US state department official said Washington will hit Turkey with sanctions “if it acts in a way that is disproportionate, inhumane or goes beyond the limit”.
The official added, “It would include ethnic cleansing … and in particular, indiscriminate artillery, air, and other fires director at civilian population.”
The Turkish defence ministry has said on Thursday the nation’s troops are continuing their advancement into northern Syria following its launched offensive operation – “Operation Peace Spring“.
Turkey has on Monday conducted an airstrike attack on a military installation of Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), downing two bridges in the northeast Syrian province of Hasakah. However, there were no reports of casualties but found a mass military buildup at the Syrian border.
SDF said on Monday American armed forces have withdrawn from the northeast Syria borders region along Turkey, as they failed to fulfil their obligations under the reached agreement.
Turkey has, for a considerable length of time, been squeezing to set up a 30-40km profound zone inside Syria, looking for the removal of the YPG from the zone and the decimation of their passages and fortresses.
The US and Turkey have been at loggerheads over plans for the region, where the US-backed Kurdish YPG fighters, forming a main American force, are combating the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL and ISIS).
The Syrian government has called the deal between Turkey and the US a “blatant attack” on the nation’s power and sovereignty.