The U.S. will withdraw about a thousand more troops from Syria, Pentagon chief Mark Esper told CBS.
“In the last 24 hours we have learned that (Turkey) probably intends to expand the attacks further south than planned and to the west. We may be between two advancing armies,” Esper said.
According to him, this is a “conscious withdrawal” of troops, as it is a “terrible situation” in which the U.S. military should not find itself.
Esper added that the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) want to negotiate with the Syrian authorities and the Russian military to be able to counterattack Turkish troops in the north of the country.
Operation “Source of Peace”
On October 9, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of a military operation in northern Syria against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the Islamic State group.
The Turkish leader named three main objectives of the operation: to protect the southern border from terrorists, to protect the territorial integrity of Syria and to ensure the return of Syrians whom the country “cannot indefinitely contain”.
Washington, in turn, announced the withdrawal of troops.
On the same day, Turkish aircraft attacked Ras al-Ain and other Syrian border towns. According to the latest data, the number of terrorists killed by the Turkish military has reached 490.
The Syrian authorities have repeatedly condemned Turkey’s occupation policy in northern Syria. Russia said Ankara should avoid actions that could stand in the way of resolving the Syrian conflict.