US opposes escalation in Syria: Blinken
The United States, concerned by Turkey's latest threats that it would launch "operations" in northern Syria, stresses that it is against any "escalation" in Syria.
Washington opposes any escalation in Syria, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed, while voicing his country's support for the existing fire lines that allow for fighting ISIS on Syrian soil.
"We continue effectively to take the fight through partners to dashed ISIS [Islamic State] within Syria, and we don't want to see anything that jeopardizes the efforts that are made to continue to keep ISIS in the box that we put it in," Blinken told a press briefing on Wednesday.
The top Biden administration diplomat also stressed that Washington believed that any new offensives in Syria could undermine the stable status quo in the country by providing malign actors with opportunities to exploit instability.
This came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed earlier today threats that he would target Kurdish fighters that he branded as "terrorists", saying that he is pushing forward with a military offensive in two areas in northern Syria.
Erdogan announced last week that the Turkish army intended to "launch counterterrorism operations on Turkey's borders [...] the decision about these operations will be taken seen."
Anakara, according to Erdogan, "will start taking new steps to complete the safe zone 30 km into Syrian soil," noting that the armed forces would prioritize the areas used to launch attacks on Turkish-occupied areas.
In response to Ankara's plans, the Syrian ministry of foreign affairs sent a message to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council protesting against Turkey's plans to establish a "safe zone" on Syrian soil. Damascus considered the move "a form of aggression against Damascus."
Turkey's actions raised concerns in Washington, prompting State Department spokesperson Ned Price to say that Ankara's offensive in northern Syria would jeopardize regional stability and the US occupation forces on Syrian soil.
As a response, Turkey defied a warning from the US, with President Erdogan stressing that his country would not wait for Washington's "permission" to launch new offensives in Syria.
He previously argued that Finland and Sweden were supporters of the US-backed Kurdish PKK militants, aiding in resource theft and US occupation in northeastern Syria.
Since 2016, Ankara has launched 3 military operations in Syria under the pretext of ridding the country of Kurdish fighters, who have worked hand-in-hand with US soldiers to occupy land in the northeastern region for oil and other natural resources. For Ankara, the PKK is a designated terrorist organization, as it has conducted a series of aggressions against Ankara since 1984.
'Many more months' of Ukraine war: Blinken
Blinken also said that he believed the Ukraine war would last "many more months" based on the situation at present.
"As best we can assess right now, we are still looking at many months of conflict," he added.
He reiterated the US position that the conflict could be over right away if Russia ceased operations in the country. "We don't see any signs of that right now," he claimed.
The United States will support Ukraine as long as the conflict goes on, as well as ensure that Kiev had everything it needs to defend itself, Blinken stressed.
Spokesperson Price revealed Tuesday that his country was still considering a range of weapon systems for Ukraine it could use against the Russian forces.
"We continue to consider a range of systems that have the potential to be effective on the battlefield for our Ukrainian partners," Price told a briefing.
Price also said the United States would announce additional steps in the coming days to enhance Kiev's defense security needs.
Moscow had sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that Washington and Brussels' arms shipments were adding fuel to the fire of the war in Ukraine, stressing that this matter could bring upon "unpredictable consequences".
Bloomberg had warned in late April that US arms stocks would run out within a few months if the White House continues to send military aid to Ukraine. The military equipment packages include artillery systems and munitions, in addition to armored personnel carriers.