Trump clears way for Turkish military offensive in Syria
October 7, 2019 - The U.S. decision to pull troops from northeast Syria opens the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington and plunges the campaign against jihadis into uncertainty.
Turkey has long argued for the establishment of a 20-mile (32 km) “safe zone” along the border, under Turkish control, driving back the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - which is the dominant force in the SDF alliance and which Ankara considers a terrorist organization and a threat to its national security.
But the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish forces dominated by the YPG militia, which were trained and equipped
by the U.S. as part of the fight against the Islamic State group, have denounced Washington’s pullout as “a stab in the back”.
There are about 1,000 U.S. troops in northern Syria, and a senior U.S. official said they will pull back from the area — and potentially depart the country entirely should widespread fighting break out between Turkish and Kurdish forces.
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