Turkey offensive in N. Syria would put US forces at risk: State Dept
The US State Department expresses its concern about reports and discussions of the potential increase of military activity in northern Syria.
Turkey's possible offensive in northern Syria would put at risk regional stability and US forces in the so-called international coalition against the Islamic State, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price considered in a press briefing on Tuesday.
"We are deeply concerned about reports and discussions of the potential increase of military activity in Northern Syria, and in particular, its impact on the civilian population there," Price claimed.
The State Department Spokesperson said, "We believe it’s crucial for both sides to maintain and respect the ceasefire zones that served to enhance stability in Syria and to work towards a political solution to this conflict."
"We expect Turkey to live up to the October 2019 Joint Statement including to halt offensive operations in northeast Syria," he pointed out.
Price mentioned that the US recognizes "Turkey’s legitimate security concerns on Turkey’s southern border but any new offensive would further undermine regional stability and put at risk US forces in the coalition’s campaign against ISIS."
It is noteworthy that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday that Ankara will begin a "military operation" at the country’s borders to establish 30 km deep buffer zones, adding that the final decision will be made soon.
"We will continue securing our borders amid the ongoing attacks. New operations will be launched on our borders soon, and appropriate decisions will be made at a meeting of the Security Council," Erdogan claimed in his address to the nation.
Earlier, Turkey's Defense Ministry confirmed that three Turkish soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in northern Iraq during Turkey's offensive against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
Turkey is currently conducting an operation against the Kurdistan Worker’s Party in northern Iraq.