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White House Confirms, the U.S. Does Not Support the Turkish Invasion of Syria

Oct. 9, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring,” officially began at 16:00 local time (13:00 UTC), today. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement in a pair of tweets this morning, stating: “The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army [aka Free Syrian Army], just launched #OperationPeaceSpring against PKK/YPG andDaesh terrorists in northern Syria. Our mission is to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area.”  The reference to PKK/YPG is to the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey, which Erdogan insists is allied with the Syrian-Kurd People’s Protection Units (YPG) that had U.S. backing in the anti-ISIS fight. In a second tweet, he stated, “#OperationPeaceSpring will neutralize terror threats against Turkey and lead to the establishment of a safe zone, facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to their homes. We will preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.” The Turkish Defense Ministry similarly stated that the invasion would create “the necessary conditions for the return of displaced Syrians to their homes and lands.”

President Donald Trump issued a statement saying that the U.S. does not support the Turkish operation. “This morning, Turkey, a NATO member, invaded Syria. The United States does not endorse this attack and has made it clear to Turkey that this operation is a bad idea. There are no American soldiers in the area,” Trump said. He vowed that the U.S. will hold Turkey to its commitments to protect civilians and to ensure that no humanitarian crisis ensues from its operation: “In addition, Turkey is now responsible for ensuring all ISIS fighters being held captive remain in prison and that ISIS does not reconstitute in any way, shape, or form. We expect Turkey to abide by all of its commitments, and we continue to monitor the situation closely.”

Just prior to the beginning of the operation, Erdogan called Russian President Vladimir Putin and told him that the planned operation will bring peace and stability to Syria and that it will also pave the way for a political process in Syria. According to the Kremlin readout, Putin “urged his Turkish partners to carefully consider the situation so as not to damage the overall efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis.” Russia, Iran and Turkey are the guarantors of the “Astana process” effort to bring peace to Syria.

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