http://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/features/2019/10/07/feature-01

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Politics |

US forces commence Syria border pullback

By AFP

A US soldier sits atop an armoured vehicle next to an international coalition base outside Ras al-Ain in Syria's al-Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on October 6th. US forces in Syria have started pulling back from Turkish border areas. [Delil Souleiman/AFP]

US forces in Syria started pulling back Monday (October 7th) from Turkish border areas, AFP reported.

The withdrawal from key positions along Syria's northern border came after the White House said it would step aside to allow for a Turkish operation President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said could come at any moment.

The Pentagon warned however that the US does not endorse a threatened Turkish invasion of northern Syria, saying it risked destabilising the region.

"We will work with our other NATO allies and coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilising consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said.

A fighter with local armed forces allied with the Kurdish administration stands guard at a military base from which US forces pulled out, in the town of Tel Arqam in Syria's al-Hasakeh province near the Turkish border on October 6th. [Delil Souleiman/AFP] 

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a key US partner in the battle against the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) that controls much of north-eastern Syria, on Monday said "US forces withdrew from the border areas with Turkey".

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that US forces had pulled back from key positions in Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad.

A Kurdish official also said US forces had started withdrawing from the border, making way for a Turkish invasion, the scope of which remains to be seen.

Turkey has sent reinforcements to the border in recent weeks, and Erdogan said Monday in televised remarks the long-threatened offensive could "come any night without warning".

"The US Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and US forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial 'Caliphate,' will no longer be in the immediate area," the White House said.

President Donald Trump on Monday justified his decision to withdraw US troops from Turkey's border with Syria, saying the region would have to "figure the situation out" and that the US needed to get out of "ridiculous Endless Wars".

But top Trump ally US Senator Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday he would be calling on Congress to reverse the president's decision, expecting this move to gain "strong bipartisan support".

UN 'in contact with all sides'

Ankara says it wants to urgently establish a "safe zone" on the other side of the border, where it plans to repatriate some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees who currently reside in Turkey.

But the Kurds claim Turkey's goal is to weaken the Kurdish presence in the region by modifying the demographics of the area with the return of mostly Sunni Arab refugees.

The SDF warned of the risks that a Turkish invasion would carry for the region, and vowed to resist any Turkish attack.

"As the Syrian Democratic Forces, we are determined to defend our land at all costs," it said in a statement posted on social media.

In a Monday statement, the SDF said a Turkish offensive would reverse the military gains achieved against ISIS at great human cost and allow for the extremist group's surviving leaders to come out of hiding.

The UN said Monday it was "preparing for the worst" in north-east Syria.

UN regional humanitarian co-ordinator for Syria Panos Moumtzis said there were "a lot of unanswered questions" about the consequences of the operation.

Moumtzis added that the UN was "in contact with all sides" on the ground.

The EU also warned that a threatened Turkish offensive would harm civilians and cause "massive displacement" of people.

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4 COMMENT(S)

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| 2019-10-14

Americans must be killed and expelled wherever they are. Over history, they have demonstrated that they can't be trusted. It is found out that areas where there are no Americans are more stable.

REPLY
| 2019-10-12

Write important subjects guys, what is this crowd? You have made a salad (mess) of it.

REPLY
| 2019-10-08

This step is supposedly taken without America’s consent!!! Who are they deceiving? However, how can Turkey and others implement Western agendas in killing Muslims, whether Kurds or Arabs?

REPLY
| 2019-10-08

Turkey will commit human massacres in eastern Euphrates as it did in Afrin. Can't you see what has been happening in Afrin since January 20th, 2018? Thousands of civilians have been displaced from their lands, and hundreds of women, children and old people have been unjustly killed. Turkey has also killed and burnt nature and stolen all citizens’ properties. The blood of Kurds in Afrin has become like drinking water for them. Yet, the reality is much more horrible. Where are human rights? Where’s religion? Where are the big countries? Where’s the public opinion? The same thing will happen in eastern Euphrates if the unjust Turkish assaults takes place. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which defended all European countries and America against "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) terrorism; the Syrian Democratic Forces that sacrificed in their place, as not a single American or European child was killed because of ISIS terrorism; the sons of Rojava who sacrificed their pure souls for the entire world, and offered thousands of martyrs and injured people, who offered their own souls and bodies to achieve victory and establish peace and justice, what’s going to happen to them? Hope my post will reach the entire world. Hope you’ll be safe.

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