ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Tuesday expressed its concerns about the United States’ decision to withdraw from Syria, allowing Turkey to launch a unilateral military operation in the northeast.
The announcement comes after a White House statement made late on Sunday, explaining that American forces would withdraw from areas in northern Syria where Turkey has said it would launch a long-threatened military operation to create a “safe zone.”
“The Kurdistan Regional Government is deeply concerned by the United States’ decision to withdraw from the safe zone in northeastern Syria and by reports of a potential unilateral military operation by Turkey,” the KRG said in a statement.
The statement also called on Turkey to reconsider any decision that would go against the best interests of the security of the region.
“The government calls on Turkey, as a member of the Global Coalition, to avoid any initiative that would undermine the progress made against ISIS, including jeopardizing the secure detention of terrorist fighters,” it added.
The KRG statement warned that the military escalation would create “the conditions for a return of ISIS and a mass displacement of people.”
The autonomous Kurdish government urged all sides to rely on dialogue “to de-escalate the situation,” and emphasized that the only way to resolve the crisis is through “a stable political solution which enshrines the rights of all Syrians, including the Kurds.”
The statement reminded of the Kurdistan Region’s “huge sacrifice” in the war against the so-called Islamic State, which included the hosting of at least 1.1 million displaced people, many refugees from neighboring Syria.
“It is the responsibility of the international community to prevent this from happening again,” it concluded.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he intends to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria to resettle two million or more Syrian refugees. For some, however, Erdogan’s real objective is to eliminate the self-administration Syrian Kurds established during the fight against the Islamic State.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), swiftly condemned the Trump administration’s decision to allow Turkish forces to invade northern Syria.
The Turkish military and its local Syrian rebel allies have been occupying the predominantly Kurdish city of Afrin since early 2018, resulting in the displacement of some 170,000 residents.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany