Pentagon urges Turkey to show restraint in Syria
The US Defense Ministry remains concerned about a potential Turkish ground operation in Syria, and urges Turkey restraint, a spokesman for the Pentagon said on Tuesday.
Asked if the US would prevent a Turkish ground invasion into Syria, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that
“the continued conflict, especially a ground invasion, would severely jeopardize the hard-fought gains that the world has achieved against ISIS, and would destabilize the region.”
Ryder added that the US recognizes Turkey's security concerns “regarding terrorist acts that have occurred within its own borders.”
Ryder said the US maintained regular communication with Turkey, “whether it's at the U.S. Central Command level or at the operational level” and the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will talk to his Turkish counterpart in the very near future.
The spokesman said the US continues to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in their fight against ISIS (Islamic State) but they have reduced the number of partnered patrols upon request by the SDF.
This is not the first time the US calls on Turkey to give up ambitions of a ground offensive into Syria.
On Tuesday, US National Security Council’s Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said the US 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,” Kirby said.