The US president said he would end the Turkish economy if the country exceeds the limits
President of the United States, Donald Trump. / Photo: AP
LatinAmerican Post | Marcela Peñaloza
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Leer en español: Trump advierte a Turquía sobre guerra en Siria
The fight against the Islamic State (IS) had led the United States to support Kurdish forces on the border between Syria and Turkey to impede their progress in the region. However, that support ended last Sunday, October 6, when the White House announced that its forces would withdraw from northern Syria, although it was not specified whether it would be a total withdrawal of all assets in that territory.
This action will allow Turkey to attack Kurdish forces that were previously supported by the United States. The decision would have come after Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey, had spoken by telephone. According to the White House, the Turkish nation will begin a military offensive in which the United States will not be involved.
In a statement issued by the Trump administration, it was explained that “the United States Armed Forces will not support or participate in the operation, and the US forces, having defeated the ISIS' territorial Caliphate, will no longer be in the immediate area.” This implies, according to CNN, that Turkey will be in charge of the captured ISIS fighters held by the Kurds.
At an international level, different organizations have expressed their concern with the impact of this decision. At a press conference in Geneva, Panos Moumtzis, UN humanitarian coordinator for Syria, said that "We do not know what will happen ... we prepare for the worst."
For its part, the European Union, through its spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic, explained that the Turkish military offensive "will exacerbate the suffering of the civilian population and cause massive displacement." In addition, the spokeswoman added, "the resumption of armed hostilities in the northeast will not only exacerbate the suffering of the civilian population and cause mass displacements but will also jeopardize ongoing political efforts."
According to DW, the Turkish offensive against Kurdish-Arab militias has brought about the resurgence of "the ultra-radical organization and would end with 'years of successful fighting' against the jihadists." In addition, according to the same media, "some of the leaders of ISIS that have survived could return, according to the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), and would also threaten the prisons and camps they run and that house numerous jihadists and their families."
The reactions at international level seem to have led Trump to launch strong comments to warn Turkey about his actions at the border. On Monday, October 7, the American president, in two tweets, said:
....the captured ISIS fighters and families. The U.S. has done far more than anyone could have ever expected, including the capture of 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. It is time now for others in the region, some of great wealth, to protect their own territory. THE USA IS GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 7 de octubre de 2019
Trump tried to mitigate his speech on October 8 by saying that at no time has the United States abandoned the Kurds. Through the same social network, Trump said:
....understands that while we only had 50 soldiers remaining in that section of Syria, and they have been removed, any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency. We are helping the Kurds financially/weapons!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 8 de octubre de 2019
Meanwhile, the international community must wait to see how Turkey handles the conflict.