U.S. urges ‘immediate’ de-escalation in northern Syria amid Turkey’s threats

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price takes questions from reporters at the State Department in Washington, U.S., March 31, 2021. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The United State Urged an immediate de-escalation in northern Syria in a statement on Wednesday, expressing concern amid the renewed Turkish attacks that recently targeted the Kurdish militant groups. 

“We are deeply concerned by recent military action that destabilizes the region, threatens our shared goal to fight ISIS, and endangers civilians and U.S. personnel,” the U.S. department of state spokesperson, Ned Price, said in the statement.

“We understand Turkey has legitimate security concerns regarding terrorism.  At the same time, we have consistently communicated our serious concerns about the impact of escalation in Syria on our D-ISIS goals and on civilians on both sides of the border,” the statement read.

Turkey has conducted three incursions so far into northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish militants of the YPG. Meanwhile, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has previously said Turkey could conduct another operation against the YPG.

Ankara had already renewed its attacks through an aerial military operation dubbed “Claw-Sword”. The YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said 15 civilians and fighters were killed in Turkish strikes in recent days.

“We have been bearing down on terrorists for a few days with our planes, cannons, and guns,” Erdogan said in a speech in northeastern Turkey Tuesday. “God willing, we will root out all of them as soon as possible, together with our tanks, our soldiers.”

He said previously that operations would not be limited to an air campaign and may involve ground forces. “It is not limited to just an air campaign,” Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media as saying.

Turkey deems the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the heart of the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984. It is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union.

Ankara considers the PKK and YPG terrorist organizations, that “threat” to its national security from southern borders.

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