Washington warns Turkey of not putting the American lives at risk in Syria
Washington said it does not want to see any action in Syria that could put the American soldiers’ lives at risk.
“We don’t want to see any actions inside Syria, by Turkey or anyone else, that could put American lives at risk, because there are Americans on the ground, and they’re helping the SDF,” the US National Security Council’s Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said during a press briefing on Monday.
Kirby also reiterated the US warning that such operations could lead to a potential for more casualties and harm the efforts in fight against the Islamic State, that “remains a viable, credible threat inside Iraq and Syria”.
“We got to keep the pressure on them,” Kirby said.
Turkey that has conducted three large-scale military operations into Northern Syria since 2016 to combat the Kurdish YPG militants, launched an aerial offensive into the region on Nov.19 against the group that blamed for the Istanbul bombing of Nov.13. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week said the airstrikes are just the “beginning” and a ground operation will start at a “convenient” time.
The People’s Protection Units (YPG) is a Kurdish group that forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is allied with the US in its fight against the ISIS in Syria.
Turkey sees the YPG as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who fights an insurgency against Turkish military for Kurdish autonomous rights in Turkish soil since 1984.
While the PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, the YGP is not.
Condemning the Istanbul attack, Kirby said Turkey continues to fall victim to terrorist attacks and it has a right to defend itself and its citizens.
However, “We want to see the tensions de-escalate here. And we don’t want to see any actions that lead to the potential of additional casualties, particularly civilian casualties and would harm our efforts to continue to work with our Syrian counterparts against ISIS,” Kirby said.