The Pentagon has attempted to row back on Donald Trump’s green-lighting of a Turkish offensive on Kurdish-held Syria, warning Ankara the US does not support such a “destabilsing” move.
after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and apparently without consultation from his own advisers or intelligence services, who warned yesterday that it could prove to be one of the most reckless decisions of his presidency.” data-reactid=”18″>President Trump made the decision after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and apparently without consultation from his own advisers or intelligence services, who warned yesterday that it could prove to be one of the most reckless decisions of his presidency.
“The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey – as did the President – that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria,” Jonathan Hoffan, Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, said in a statement. “The US Armed Forces will not support, or be involved in any such operation.
“We will work with our other Nato allies and Coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilising consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond.”
A state department official went further, saying it was a “very bad idea”.
Accounts of the Sunday night phone call between the two leaders suggest Mr Trump had been pressured by his Turkish counterpart.
The Turkish presidency said that during the call with Mr Trump, Mr Erdogan had expressed his frustration with the failure of US military and security officials to implement the agreement between the two countries on a safe zone.
The YPG had also agreed to allow joint US-Turkey patrols as part of the security mechanism.” data-reactid=”35″>The Nato allies agreed in August to establish a buffer zone in northeast Syria, which involved moving Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters back from the Turkish border. The YPG had also agreed to allow joint US-Turkey patrols as part of the security mechanism.
Mr Erdogan told Mr Trump that the US moved too slowly to set up the zone, expressing his anger that the US security bureaucracy, namely the Pentagon, was seemingly stalling the zone’s full implementation.
Observers said it may have goaded Mr Trump, who does not like to be thought of as being hamstrung by policymakers.
Mr Trump has attempted to mitigate the fallout, tweeting yesterday that Ankara must watch its step.