The United States announced the withdrawal of about a thousand military from Syria amid Turkey’s operation in the region. This was stated by the head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper.

“On the last day, we became aware that they (Turkish Armed Forces. - RT ) are very likely to intend to expand their advance further south than originally planned, as well as west. As we know, this is exactly what is happening now, ”said Esper.

According to the minister, the United States fears that their military may be “between two opposing and advancing armies,” and this situation is “unacceptable.”

At the same time, Esper noted that American troops leaving northern Syria have the right to open fire for reasons of self-defense and can use it in case of attack. He called the maneuver for the evacuation of American troops "early withdrawal."

  • Mark esper
  • Reuters
  • © Erin Scott

According to the Syrian state television, the evacuation affected the al-Jalabiya base in the Syrian province of Raqqa.

Recall, on October 9, Turkey launched the third military operation in northern Syria, called the “Source of Peace”. According to Ankara’s position, within the framework of this campaign, it is planned to destroy the militants of the “Islamic State” * and representatives of the Kurdish formations “Workers' Party of Kurdistan” and “People’s Self-Defense Forces”, whom Ankara considers to be terrorists.

To date, Turkey has reported the elimination of nearly 500 "terrorists" from among representatives of Kurdish forces. In turn, the Kurds themselves announced 75 killed Turkish military.

Since the start of the operation in Syria, at least one incident involving the armed forces of the United States and Turkey has been recorded. On October 12, the Pentagon reported that US troops in the area of ​​the city of Kobani were hit by shelling, which was allegedly conducted from Turkish positions.

Then, the department said that none of the US troops were injured, and they did not retreat from Kobani.

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A later publication by The Washington Post, citing its own sources, reported that the Turkish military’s blow to the American was allegedly deliberate. The newspaper quoted the American officer as saying that Turkish forces knew for sure that the US military was in the strike zone.

In an interview with the Pentagon head, they asked a question about these events, responding to which he admitted that the American side received reports of indiscriminate fire near the location of the US military. However, he said that Washington has not yet clarified the circumstances of the incident.

Note that the United States has repeatedly called on Turkey to abandon the military operation in Syria. This was also indicated by Mark Esper, who "strongly urged Turkey to cease operations in northeast Syria." Shortly before this action, Turkey was condemned by US President Donald Trump, who also called for the withdrawal of US troops from Syria.

Already after the publication of data on the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops, he returned to the issue of confrontation between Ankara and Kurdish forces on his Twitter.

“Kurds and Turks have been fighting for many years. Turkey considers the members of the Kurdistan Workers Party the most dangerous terrorists in the world. Perhaps someone else will want to get involved in this and fight for this or that side. Let's! We are closely monitoring the situation. Endless wars! ”Trump wrote.

An expert with the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Konstantin Blokhin in an interview with RT noted that the US does not make sense to stay in Syria.

“The states have finally lost Syria, it is quite possible they will play the Kurdish card, but at a distance. This is their favorite way to achieve success with the wrong hands, ”the expert believes.

According to him, a stable and secure Middle East is not in the sphere of US interests.

“They need destabilization in order to sell their expensive weapons systems under this chaos, it is with these hotbeds of tension that they justify their presence of the military contingent,” Blokhin believes.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Al Arabiya, Sky News Arabia and RT Arabic said that all foreign military forces should leave Syria for a political settlement.

“I spoke openly to my colleagues: the territory of Syria should be freed from foreign military presence and the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic should be fully restored,” the Russian leader said, noting that, at the request of the Syrian side, this requirement can be extended to Russian troops.

According to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey “has no problems” with Russia in the dialogue on the situation in Syria. In addition, the Turkish leader added that he is in “constant contact” with Putin.

“Powerful sanctions”

Against the backdrop of these events, US President Donald Trump, who opposed the Turkish operation in Syria, threatened Ankara with “powerful sanctions”.

“I work with (Senator. - RT ) Lindsay Graham and many members of Congress, including the Democrats, to impose powerful sanctions on Turkey. The Ministry of Finance is ready to start; additional law may be required. There is excellent consensus on this. Turkey asked that this not be done. Wait! ”Trump wrote on his Twitter.

Dealing with @LindseyGrahamSC and many members of Congress, including Democrats, about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey. Treasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought. There is great consensus on this. Turkey has asked that it not be done. Stay tuned!

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2019

Commenting on the likelihood of US sanctions against Turkey, Director of the Institute of Contemporary State Development Dmitry Solonnikov noted that the probability of such an outcome is high.

“This is a joint document that is being prepared by both Democrats and Republicans ... There is a chance that both factions will support it - this is a very serious statement,” Solonnikov said in an interview with RT.

In his opinion, the main threat to Ankara is the likelihood of European support for American restrictive measures.

“In this situation, it’s rather not the direct US sanctions against Turkey and the restrictions that they can impose, but the fact that these will be extraterritorial sanctions that are likely to be followed by European countries as well. This will be the most difficult for Turkey, ”the expert believes.

* “Islamic State” (IG) - the organization was recognized as terrorist by decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of December 29, 2014.