UK News: Turkey-Syria offensive 'not our problem' - Trump - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK News Turkey-Syria offensive 'not our problem' - Trump

05:40  17 october  2019
05:40  17 october  2019 Source:   bbc.com

U.S. says it will stand aside as Turkey moves into Syria

  U.S. says it will stand aside as Turkey moves into Syria Trump and Erdogan spoke by phone, but the White House didn't confirm Turkey's announcement that they will meet next month.The White House said Sunday night that Turkey would soon begin an assault on a part of northeastern Syria where it wants to resettle Syrian refugees — and that U.S. forces wouldn't be there to help or stop them.

President Donald Trump has said it is " not our problem " if Turkey enters Syria , calling the former US allies the Kurds "no angels". The US is facing intense criticism for withdrawing its forces from Syria , which some say gave Turkey the green light to launch a cross-border offensive against

"If Turkey goes into Syria it is between Turkey and Syria . It’s not our problem ." Trump has defended what dozens of Congress members have called a betrayal of Washington's Kurdish allies, by insisting that the US needs to withdraw itself from endless wars.

Sergio Mattarella, Donald Trump sitting in a suit and tie: Mr Trump made the comments during a meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy in the Oval Office © Getty Images Mr Trump made the comments during a meeting with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy in the Oval Office

President Donald Trump has said it is "not our problem" if Turkey enters Syria, adding that the Kurds are "no angels, by the way".

His comments come as the US faces intense criticism for withdrawing its forces from Syria, which some say gave Turkey the green light to launch a cross-border offensive.

Mr Trump told reporters at the White House the US is "not a policing agent".

"It is time for us to go home," he said.

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Turkey launched the offensive in northern Syria a week ago to push back from its border members of a Syrian Kurdish militia called the People's Protection Units (YPG) and create a 32km (20-mile) deep "safe zone" along the Syrian side of the border, where up to two million Syrian refugees can be resettled.

Turkey says it will cross into Syria 'shortly,' issues warning to Kurdish fighters

  Turkey says it will cross into Syria 'shortly,' issues warning to Kurdish fighters The Turkish government said Tuesday that it will cross into northeastern Syria "shortly," and issued a warning to local Kurdish forces. "The Turkish military, together with the Free Syrian Army, will cross the Turkish-Syrian border shortly. YPG militants have two options: They can defect or we will have [to] stop them from disrupting our counter-ISIS efforts," Turkish government spokesperson Fahrettin Altun tweeted, referring to the Kurdish militia that has worked closely with the U.S. in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Donald Trump has said that Turkey 's military campaign against Syrian Kurds is not Washington's problem . "They have a problem at the border; it's not our border," Trump said. Last week, Trump made good on earlier promises to completely pull US troops from Syria by announcing the

Turkey ’s offensive against Kurds in northern Syria is “ not our problem ,” says US President Donald Trump as pressure mounts on his administration over abandoning of the formerly US-backed forces in the region. "If Turkey goes into Syria , it is between Turkey and Syria . It’s not our problem

Critics warn it could lead to ethnic cleansing of the local Kurdish population.

The Turkish operation came after Mr Trump ordered the withdrawal of US forces from the area.

What did the president say?

Mr Trump made the comments during a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the White House.

The president said he saw the situation on the Turkey-Syria border as "strategically brilliant" for the US.

"Our soldiers are out of there. Our soldiers are totally safe. They've got to work it out. Maybe they can do it without fighting," he said.

"We're watching and we're negotiating and we're trying to get Turkey to do the right thing, because we'd like to stop wars regardless."

The president also said that the Kurds are "not angels".

Turkey launches operation against Kurds in northern Syria, Erdogan says

  Turkey launches operation against Kurds in northern Syria, Erdogan says The Turkish operation against Kurdish militants in northern Syria has begun, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, aiming to eliminate a "terror corridor" along the southern Turkish border. The EU urged Ankara to halt the offensive. "The Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army (rebel groups backed by Ankara), just launched #OperationPeaceSpring," Erdogan wrote on Twitter in English. He said the offensive targeted Kurdish militants and the Islamic State group in northern Syria.

Turkey presses on with Syria military offensive Jump to media player President Erdogan says operations in northern Syria will end when a "safe The operation came after Trump ordered the withdrawal of US troops from the area. Speaking at a press conference alongside President Sergio

Despite Trump ’s insistence Wednesday that he never gave Turkey the “green light,” this was the intended consequence of Trump ’s executive order pulling So it’s not surprising that Turkey did move forward with its long-planned operation and that Trump is fine with that. What’s surprising is that the

"They fought with us. We made a lot of money for them to fight with us, and that's okay," he said. "They did well when they fought with us. They didn't do so well when they didn't fight with us."

Mr Trump did not elaborate on his comments about the Kurds, who only days ago he called "wonderful people".

At the same press conference, Italy's President Mattarella, said that Italy condemns the Turkish offensive.

What's the context?

Ankara insists the YPG militia is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey since 1984 and is designated as a terrorist group by the US and EU.

The US has designated the PKK, which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades, as a foreign terrorist organisation and Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entity. The US has acknowledged links between the PKK and YPG, but it has rejected Turkey's assertion that the YPG is an extension of the PKK.

Turkey says ground forces have crossed over into northern Syria

  Turkey says ground forces have crossed over into northern Syria Turkish ground forces and a Syrian militia group have crossed over into northern Syria, as part of a military operation against Kurdish forces, Turkey's Ministry of National Defense announced Wednesday."The Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian National Army have launched the land operation into the east of the Euphrates river as part of the Operation Peace Spring," the ministry said on Twitter.The Turkish Armed Forces and the Syrian National Army have launched the land operation into the east of the Euphrates river as part of the Operation Peace Spring," the ministry said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump wouldn't say Friday what the red line would be triggering sanctions to be implemented against Turkey , responding only, 'we'll see.". Trump also told reporters the U.S. is sending more troops and equipment to Saudi Arabia. (Oct. 11) AP, AP.

The Turkish offensive and US pullout have been internationally criticised as the Kurdish-led fighters were crucial allies of the coalition against the Islamic On Monday, President Donald Trump said a "small footprint" of US personnel would remain in southern Syria to continue to fight the remnants of IS.

The YPG dominates an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias called the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has driven the Islamic State (IS) group out of a quarter of Syria over the past four years with the help of air strikes by a US-led multinational coalition.

On Sunday, after US troops began withdrawing from the region and Turkish-led forces made gains, the Kurds agreed a deal with the Syrian government for the Syrian army to be deployed on the border to help repel the Turkish assault.

a close up of a map © BBC

Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are heading to Turkish capital, Ankara, amid the incursion into northern Syria. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will meet Mr Pence after appearing earlier to have ruled it out.

President Trump, meanwhile, will meet with congressional leaders later on Wednesday to discuss the situation.

The US announced sanctions against Turkey on Monday.

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On Wednesday, a spokesman for Turkey's President Erdogan said the country's foreign ministry was preparing retaliatory sanctions against the US.

Two British IS fighters known as 'The Beatles' in US custody

  Two British IS fighters known as 'The Beatles' in US custody Two British IS fighters, known as "The Beatles" have been moved out of their Syrian prison and are now in US custody, according to US officials. © Sky The men are suspected of being part of IS The two men - El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey - were a group of four men from the UK who were part of an IS terror cell known as The Beatles, due to their captives recognising their English accents.Elsheikh and Kotey were captured in 2018 trying to flee the region, and have been in a Syrian prison since then.

President Trump 's decision to pull the US out of what he called an endless war gave Turkey the green light to send troops into Syria . European governments, rattled in the way that happens when the problems of the Middle East come knocking at their doors, are calling on Turkey to stop the offensive .

That is between Turkey and Syria he said at an Oval Office photo-op with Italy's President Sergio Mattarella. Elaborating on the continued fighting Trump spoke as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence were leaving Washington later Wednesday for Turkey to meet with

Ankara has vowed to continue its offensive, and has refused to negotiate with Kurdish fighters.

What's the latest on the ground?

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that Syrian and Russian forces had entered the border town of Kobane, following a deal struck between the Kurds and Damascus in the wake of Turkey's incursion.

Dozens of civilians have reportedly been killed in the operation so far and at least 160,000 have fled the area, according to the UN.

The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said it had "taken the difficult decision to suspend the majority of its activities and evacuate all its international staff from north-east Syria".

The UN Security Council meanwhile on Wednesday once more called on Turkey to stop its assault.

Syrian government forces had also entered the strategic town of Manbij on Tuesday – inside the area where Turkey wants to create its "safe zone".

Turkish troops and pro-Turkish, anti-government fighters have also been gathering near Manbij.

Over the past two years, hundreds of US troops have visibly patrolled the strategic town, but they left earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Russia - a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - said its forces were patrolling along the "line of contact" between Syrian and Turkish forces.

Pompeo insists US didn't give Turkey 'green light' to invade

  Pompeo insists US didn't give Turkey 'green light' to invade Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. "didn't give Turkey a green light" to invade Syria and attack Kurdish forces in an interview Wednesday. "Yeah, well that's just false," Pompeo said in the interview with PBS NewsHour. "The United States didn't give Turkey a green light."Pompeo deflected questions regarding whether the U.S. should take responsibility for the results of the Turkish attacks, including if civilians are killed or if ISIS reemerges.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected a US call for an immediate ceasefire in northern Syria , saying Turkey 's offensive will continue. His comments come as US Vice-President Mike Pence and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepare to fly to Turkey to try to broker a truce.

Turkey Syria offensive : Your questions answered. Could Turkish offensive unleash IS threat? Image copyright AFP. Image caption Pro- Turkish Syrian fighters advance into Kurdish-held territory. "This was a very big mistake and this has very big implications for all of our security," a senior State

For now, Syrian forces have not been deployed between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, where Turkey has focused its efforts.

How did we get here?

Kurdish-led forces have been a key ally of the US in the fight against the IS in Syria.

They described the US withdrawal, which preceded Turkish action, as a "stab in the back".

a man standing in front of a building: A Kurdish Syrian woman cries during the funeral of five SDF fighters in Ras al-Ain © AFP A Kurdish Syrian woman cries during the funeral of five SDF fighters in Ras al-Ain

There are fears the destabilisation could lead to a resurgence of IS, as thousands of former fighters and their relatives are being detained in northern Syria.

Hundreds of IS family members are said to have escaped from one camp already.

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Analysts say that apart from fighting IS, the Kurds were fundamental to the US in limiting the influence of rivals Russia and Iran.

Pompeo: Trump 'fully prepared' to use military force if necessary .
President Trump "is fully prepared" to use military force should it be "needed," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday when asked about Turkey's invasion of Syria.CNBC's Wilfred Frost in an interview with Pompeo addressed the recent U.S.-brokered cease-fire in Syria that Ankara had agreed to last week. The journalist asked Pompeo what might warrant a military response.

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