US says Turkish move into Syria creates potential humanitarian crisis

by Wladimir van Wilgenburg    


The US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday that the Turkish move into Syria could create a potential crisis.

“We have real concerns about that because of an escalation of violence. We have called for however long this has been going on – a month or so – for a de-escalation of violence,” she said.

“The more that we would see Turkish forces enter into Syria proper, deeper into Syria, the more that it stands to create a potential humanitarian crisis,” she added.

Therefore, she said that this underscores the importance of the UN Security Council resolution that calls for a nationwide ceasefire. “Having a nationwide ceasefire would certainly help to stabilize the situation,” she said.

Moreover, the US is worried about Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) moving away from the frontline against ISIS, to defend the region on Afrin. Reportedly, the SDF is withdrawing 1,700 of it’s men to fight of the Turkish invasion.

“We would like to see the focus stay on the fight against ISIS,” she said. “(…) we have long said that that wouldn’t be helpful and that we want the focus to stay on the fight against ISIS,” she added.

“We would encourage everybody to stay focused on the fight against ISIS,” she said.

“But I do want to add that we also understand that Turkey, a NATO ally, has some legitimate security concerns, but we want the overall de-escalation of violence, whether it’s in Afrin or whether it’s in Eastern Ghouta,” she concluded.

Kurds have criticized the US policy of differentiating between the Kurds in Afrin that are fighting off a Turkish invasion, and the US-backed SDF forces in the east of the Euphrates, from Manbij all the way until the Iraqi border.

Ahmad Sulaiman, member of the political bureau in Kurdish Progressive Democratic Party in Syria, told the Region he doesn’t understand how America sees a difference between Afrin, and the rest of northern Syria.

“Maybe America can make a difference between Afrin and the East of the Euphrates for their own interests, but you cannot expect Kurds to give up on Afrin,” he said.