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World White House says Turkey's Syria operation is imminent, US troops won't be present

06:51  07 october  2019
06:51  07 october  2019 Source:   thehill.com

The Latest: Erdogan says Turkey won't halt Syria offensive

  The Latest: Erdogan says Turkey won't halt Syria offensive Turkey's president says his county "will not take a step back" from its offensive against Syrian Kurdish militants it sees as a national security threat, defying serious warnings from the United States and other Western nations. Syrian Arab and Kurdish civilians arrive to Tall Tamr after fleeing Turkish bombardment on the northeastern towns along the border on Oct. 10.

The White House on Sunday night said Turkey will soon be launching a military operation in northeastern Syria and that U.S. troops will no longer be "in the immediate area" when it happens.

a person standing in front of a building: White House says Turkey's Syria operation is imminent, US troops won't be present© Getty Images White House says Turkey's Syria operation is imminent, US troops won't be present

"Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Leader of Syrian Kurds tells US "you are leaving us to be slaughtered"

  Leader of Syrian Kurds tells US The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces told a senior US diplomat, "You are leaving us to be slaughtered," demanding to know whether the US is going to do anything to protect Syrian Kurds as Turkey continues its military operation targeting America's Kurdish allies in Syria."You have given up on us. You are leaving us to be slaughtered," Gen. Mazloum Kobani Abdi told the Deputy Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, William Roebuck, in a meeting Thursday, according to an internal US government readout that has been obtained exclusively by CNN.

The announcement comes hours after President Trump held a phone call with Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which the two reportedly discussed the conflict and agreed to a meeting in Washington in November.

More than 1,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in northeastern Syria, where they work closely with Kurdish fighters who have proven to be among Washington's strongest allies in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Erdogan has repeatedly expressed frustration with Washington's close alliance with the Kurds along his country's border with Syria, linking them to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated a terrorist organization in Turkey.

The U.S., in an effort to reduce tensions in the region, has been working on establishing a safe zone along the border. But the plans have faltered, and the Turkish president in recent days has warned that Ankara will soon be launching a military operation across the border, as soon as within the next couple of days.

Grisham in her Sunday statement added the U.S. will not be holding any more ISIS fighters, and that "Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured over the past two years in the wake of the defeat of the territorial 'Caliphate' by the United States."

The Latest: Turkey's Erdogan to travel to Russia for talks .
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office says the Turkish leader will travel to Sochi, Russia for talks over Turkey's military offensive.Activists of the organization 'Women Defend Rochava' show the victory sign during a protest against the military operation of Turkey in the Kurdish areas in north-eastern Syria at the Federal press conference (Bundespressekonferenz) during a government's press conference in Berlin, Germany, on Oct. 16.

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