US: Afrin operation does not serve Turkey's interests
The U.S. does not believe a military operation by Turkey in Syria’s northern city of Afrin would serve Ankara’s interests regarding the security of its southern border, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
“We do not believe a military operation…in the north and northeast of Syria serves the cause of regional stability, Syrian stability, or indeed Turkish concerns about the security of their border,” a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters Friday in a conference call.
The official said the U.S. continued to engage with Turkey over Ankara’s concerns about its border with Syria and noted they did not believe any military action against Afrin or other regions where the SDF is present would be fruitful.
Responding to questions on whether a "border security force" was being formed based on elements of the PYD/PKK terrorist organization under the umbrella of the SDF, the official said the "language about a border security force was a misstatement. We are working, the Department of Defense is working, on providing assistance, development and training to internal security forces, internal security elements drawn from all of the ethnic populations of the north and northeast of Syria… And there is certainly no threat against Turkey.
“We have made at senior levels as clear as possible to the Turkish government that nothing we are doing with respect to security elements in northeast, northern Syria should be viewed as a threat or a challenge to Turkey or to its border,” said the official.
“We believe what we are doing shouldn’t be seen as challenging or threatening. It is not a reconstruction or a sustainment of those heavy forces required to fight” against Daesh in Raqqah, the official added.
Stating that the fight in Raqqah is over, the official noted that the nature of the military relationship with the SDF had changed to some extent and “the nature of security and security needs in northern and northeastern Syria have changed now to local and internal purposes”.
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