US forces in northern Syria will no longer be stationed near the border with Turkey and will not support the long-planned Ankara operation in the country, the White House said on Sunday.
“Soon, Turkey will go ahead with its long-planned operation in northern Syria.
The US armed forces won’t support or engage in the process.
The fact that the US forces have defeated the Caliphate on the territory established by ISIS will no longer be stationed directly in the region on the border with Turkey.
The statement issued after US President Donald Trump’s telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized “France, Germany and other European countries” for not returning its citizens who joined the Islamic State and arrested in northern Syria.
The statement noted that “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters detained in the last two years following the defeat of the United States”.
Erdogan and Trump agreed in a telephone conversation earlier on Sunday to hold a meeting in Washington next month to discuss the “safe area” in northern Syria, the Turkish presidency said.
Erdogan told his US counterpart that he was “frustrated by the failure of the US military and security bureaucracy to implement the agreement” concluded by the parties in August on the establishment of a buffer zone on the Syrian border with Turkey.
A day earlier, the Turkish president renewed his threats to launch a cross-border military operation “as soon as today or tomorrow”.
Washington has in the past sought to prevent any Turkish military operation against armed Kurdish factions it supports in Syria, which Ankara considers “terrorist”.
The United States worked closely with the YPG to drive ISIS out of large areas they controlled.