US Troops Withdraw from Syrian-Turkish Border

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DAMASCUS – The command headquarters of the Syrian Democratic Forces in a statement declared that the US troops have turned their back on them as the Turkish Army is preparing for imminent military operations against the SDF in northeastern Syria.

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The Kurdish-language Hawar News website reported that the SDF command in its statement on the latest development in northeastern Syrian has underlined that the US has not fulfilled its commitments and it has withdrawn its troops from the border regions with Turkey concurrent with the Turkish Army’s preparations for attacking northern and eastern Syria.

The SDF noted that it will not hesitate to defend its forces against the Turkish Army’s attack on SDF’s military positions in northern and eastern Syria, and said that the Turkish Army’s attack will negatively influence SDF’s fight against the ISIS.

The US troops’ retreat from the Turkish borders is after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a statement announced that the Turkish Army will soon start its military operations in northern Syria as it has planned for it a long time ago.

Erdogan made the remarks after his telephone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump. The White House in its statement also reiterated that “the US neither supports the Turkish military operation in northern Syria nor it will take part in it and the US troops will no longer be in the region.”

Turkey is deploying reinforcements to the Syrian border following President Erdogan’s announcement of a looming military operation against US-backed Kurdish militants. On Monday, Erdogan confirmed that the withdrawal has started after his phone call with President Donald Trump, adding that Ankara and Washington would continue the talks on the issue.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said on Monday that Ankara is determined to ensure the country’s security by clearing the region from the terrorists. A US official told Reuters ahead of an expected Turkish offensive that the United States informed the commander of the SDF in Syria on Monday morning that American forces will not defend them from Turkish attacks anywhere.

The official stated that US forces had evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ain in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. The other US forces in the region were still in position, for now, the official added. Washington-backed militants had warned of “all-out war” after Erdogan announced that Turkey will carry out an air and ground military operation in Syria as soon as Saturday or Sunday.

Erdogan stated earlier his country will launch the air and ground operation east of the Euphrates in Syria after a deadline to jointly establish a so-called safe zone with the US passed. Ankara and Washington agreed earlier in August to create a ‘peace corridor’ to facilitate the return of displaced Syrians into northern Syria – until Turkey realized that joint “land and air patrols with the US were a fairytale”.

Erdogan even openly suggested that Washington was after a safe zone “not for Turkey but for the terrorist group”. Neither the US nor Turkey bothered to consult Damascus, which has repeatedly blasted all their joint and unilateral endeavors as flagrant violations of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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