US Doesn’t Endorse Turkish Operation in Syria, Won’t Help in Any Way

October 7, 2019 Updated: October 7, 2019

President Donald Trump and the Department of Defense told Turkey, a NATO ally, that the United States does not endorse the Turkish offensive in northern Syria and won’t support the operation in any way.

“The Department of Defense made clear to Turkey—as did POTUS—that we do not endorse a Turkish operation in Northern Syria. The U.S. Armed Forces will not support, or be involved in any such operation,” said Jonathan Rath Hoffman, an assistant to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, in a statement on Oct. 7.

“In conversations between DOD and the Turkish military we’ve consistently stressed coordination and cooperation were the best path toward security in the area. Secretary Esper and Chairman Milley reiterated to their respective Turkish counterparts that unilateral action creates risks for Turkey.”

“As POTUS has stated, Turkey would be responsible, along with European nations & others, for thousands of ISIS fighters who had been captured and defeated in the campaign lead by the United States,” Hoffman added.

“We will work with our other NATO allies and Coalition partners to reiterate to Turkey the possible destabilizing consequences of potential actions to Turkey, the region, and beyond.”

Turkish and U.S. military vehicles, take part in joint patrol in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkey, on Oct. 4, 2019. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Department of Defense’s stated position came after Trump said early on Oct. 7 that the United States would be pulling out of Syria after protracted negotiations yielded little from allies and after American-led forces pummeled the ISIS terror group in the area.

Trump said that European countries and Turkey, among others, will be responsible for the captured ISIS fighters but that America wouldn’t be involved.

“It is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home. WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN. Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out, and what they want to do with the captured ISIS fighters in their ‘neighborhood.’ They all hate ISIS, have been enemies for years. We are 7000 miles away and will crush ISIS again if they come anywhere near us!” Trump said in a series of Twitter posts.

He later added that he was elected in part because of his vow to get the United States out of the ongoing wars in the Middle East, “where our great Military functions as a policing operation to the benefit of people who don’t even like the USA.”

“The two most unhappy countries at this move are Russia & China, because they love seeing us bogged down, watching over a quagmire, & spending big dollars to do so. When I took over, our Military was totally depleted. Now it is stronger than ever before,” he said.

“The endless and ridiculous wars are ENDING! We will be focused on the big picture, knowing we can always go back & BLAST!”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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