On Sunday, October 6, the White House announced that troops stationed in Syria would withdraw from the border of Turkey, as Turkey will soon implement a long-planned operation in the north of the country.
The announcement comes after a phone call by President Donald Trump with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan .
The White House said: " US forces will not support or be involved in the operation and US forces, which have defeated the Islamic State's territorial caliphate, will no longer be in the immediate vicinity ."
For his part, the Turkish president said, on October 1, coming to the end of his patience vis-à-vis the United States, concerning the creation of a security zone in northern Syria , threatening the imminence of a military operation. In a televised speech, Recep Tayyip Erdogan even said: " At this point, we have no choice but to continue on our own path ."
The two leaders are scheduled to meet next month in Washington to discuss the establishment of a security zone in northern Syria.
The impending Turkish offensive
In Ankara, the Turkish president has just said that a Turkish offensive could be launched at any time in northern Syria, after Washington announced that it would not oppose such an operation against the Kurdish militia of People's Protection Units (YPG).
Turkey is determined to " clean " Syria of " terrorists " who threaten the country's security. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said on Twitter that: " Since the beginning of the war in Syria, we have supported the territorial integrity of Syria and we will continue to do so. We are determined to protect our (...) security by cleaning up this area of terrorists . "
Have supported the territorial integrity of #Syria since the beginning of the crisis and will continue to do so. Determined to ensure survivability and security of terrorism. Will contribute to bringing safety, peace & stability to Syria.Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) October 7, 2019
" There is a phrase that we repeat all the time: we could enter Syria, any night without warning. It is absolutely out of the question for us to tolerate threats from these terrorist groups any longer. " said President Erdogan at a press conference.
Also quoted by government spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on social networks: " Turkey will continue to fight against Daech (Arabic acronym for IS) and will not let it come back, whether under a shape or another ".
The UN says " prepare for the worst ". " We do not know what will happen (...) We are preparing for the worst, " said UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria Panos Moumtzis at a press conference in Geneva on Monday morning. . The international organization is currently in contact with all parties, but said it has not been made aware of Washington's decision to abandon its former Kurdish allies in the fight against the Islamic State's jihadists in Syria.
For the UN, the priority is to ensure that the Turkish offensive does not cause further displacement, that humanitarian access is not blocked and that there are no restrictions on freedom of movement in the region concerned.
The fate of fighters of the Islamic State
The White House also spoke of the possibility of entrusting Turkey with the responsibility of the European fighters of the Islamic State, currently held by an Arab-Kurdish coalition of which the YPG is the spearhead.
" The US government has pressed France, Germany, and other European countries, from which many of the captured Islamic State fighters come, to take them back, but they do not want and refuse, " he said. said the White House. Before continuing: " Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area, captured in the last two years ".