Turkish offensive in northwest Syria is imminent

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A Turkish n armored vehicles patrol as they conduct a joint ground patrol with American forces in the so-called "safe zone" on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria, Friday, Oct.4, 2019. The patrols are part of a deal reached between Turkey and the United States to ease tensions between the allies over the presence of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters in the area. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)

Turkish offensive in northwest Syria is imminent. The United States is withdrawing from northwestern Syria, opening the door to an offensive by Turkey that could happen “at any time.”

The Syrian Human Rights Observatory and the Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Washington’s main allies in the fight against the Islamic State, said US troops had begun withdrawing from the region.

A statement confirmed by the Turkish president, who stressed that his country “has completed preparations, completed the operation’s plans and issued the necessary orders.” Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that the offensive is imminent and that the “operation will be conducted by land and air”, adding that he believes “the brothers on the Syrian side will support [Turkey] with all their might”.

After a phone call between Erdogan and Donald Trump, the White House said Turkey would soon move forward with plans to create a “safe zone” in northwestern Syria and that the United States would not intervene.

But Kurdish fighters who control the region accuse Washington of “not meeting its commitments” and have vowed to defend themselves against a “Turkish invasion”. The Kurdish forces also claim that the Turkish military operation “will have a very negative impact on the fight against Daesh, destroying everything that has been achieved in terms of stability in recent years.”

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