Turkey suspends attacking northeast Syria due to Russia, US rejection: Diplomatic sources

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Turkey has suspended its potential military operation against northeast Syria, as a result of the continued Russian and American refusal and the absence of any consensus in this regard.

Well-informed diplomatic Turkish sources told The New Arab about the expected Turkish military operation in new areas in Syria and its indications.

“Turkish media pressure is still continuing to carry out the military action in the region, and that the Turkish army is ready to conduct and set plans for any future military action according to field requirements,” they said.

However, it is not likely that there is currently a direct military action, and “Ankara has suspended operations for the time being,” according to the sources.

Recently, indications of Turkey’s intention to carry out a large-scale military operation to keep the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) away from Turkey’s southern borders have declined.

Over the past period, the Turkish army and its affiliated Syrian opposition factions mobilized along the contact lines with the SDF in the west and east of the Euphrates, which indicated that a large-scale military operation was about to begin.

Turkey launched a series of drone attacks targeting civilian cars in several areas in northeast Syria, causing deaths and injuries.

No green light

Earlier, the former US Special Envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, confirmed that US President Joe Biden did not give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a green light to launch a new attack on north and east Syria.

Jeffrey made it clear that Washington would not abandon the partnership with the SDF.

Early in October, the US Department of Defense spokesman Navy Cmdr. Jessica McNulty said, about 900 US soldiers remain in Syria, working with the SDF. 

On October 7, the US State Department spokesperson told North Press that President Biden has expressed support for maintaining the US forces in northeast Syria to support local partners and prevent an ISIS resurgence.  

In an exclusive statement to North Press, the spokesperson added that the US and the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS “remain committed to our presence in northeast Syria and our partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS.”  

Successive messages

The Russian side, in turn, stressed its rejection of any Turkish military operation against northeast Syria, in order to prevent the expansion of the Turkish influence, in addition that Russia tries to enhance their presence there.

Russia’s rejection was expressed through carrying out exercises in the northwestern countryside of Hasakah, east of the Euphrates River, with the Syrian government forces and the SDF, each separately.

The Russians went a further step by sending a Sukhoi Su-57 fighter to Qamishli Airport, not far from the Syrian-Turkish border, in a clear indication of Moscow’s dissatisfaction with Ankara’s carrying out any military operation without its consent, according to observers.

Accordingly, Turkey has suspended its military operation against the region, and the sources attributed this to the continuation of the Turkish dialogue with Russia and the US. No consensus has been achieved so far in this regard.

“Turkey is talking to Russia, and a technical delegation is expected to arrive in Ankara in the coming days in order to discuss the Syrian issue,” the sources added.

“However, the meeting is not expected to achieve big breakthroughs regarding the military operations demanded by Ankara in the region.”

Turkey is awaiting the outcome of the Russian-American talks that took place in Geneva in the past few days, to make arrangements for the region, and it [Turkey] is also awaiting the arrival of an American envoy in the coming days.

Reporting by Muhammad al-Qadi



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