Turkey is ready for a possible military operation east of the Euphrates River in Syria to establish a safe zone, the country’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday.
“The establishment of a Safe Zone/Peace Corridor is essential for Syrians to have a safe life by contributing to the stability and peace of our region,” the ministry said on Twitter.
“Turkish Security Forces will never tolerate the creation of a terror corridor at our borders. All preparations for the operation have been completed,” it added.
The ministerial announcements come after the White House announced late Sunday that the US would pull back its forces in Syria ahead of the “long-planned” Turkish operation.
US President Donald Trump said Monday he was not “siding with anybody” on Syria after his decision to pull back troops.
U.S. President Donald Trump has been facing mounting pressure in Washington after the White House announced late Sunday that the U.S. would pull back its forces in Syria ahead of a “long-planned” Turkish operation.
A senior administration official speaking to reporters said the US will not engage with Turkey militarily, noting Washington “is not in a position to, and will not be in a position to, fight Turkey over any actions that it takes with respect to Syria.”
Turkey has long called for the U.S. to partner with it in the fight against Daesh, a terrorist group Ankara has worked to root out, arresting and deporting its members within Turkey.