U.S. President Donald Trump has said that the ISIS militants in northern Syria are “secured” by People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants with “Turkey ready as backup.”
Commenting on the current situation in the area in a series of tweets on Oct. 25, Trump once again mentioned sanctions.
“Turkey fully understands not to fire on the Kurds as they leave what will be known as the Safe Zone for other fairly nearby areas. I don’t have to repeat that large scale Sanctions will be imposed for violations. Going well! ISIS secured by Kurds with Turkey ready as backup,” he said, referring to Ankara’s planned “safe zone” in the area.
Turkey launched its Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 with the aims of clearing its border from the YPG, which is the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and to set up a safe zone for the return of over one million refugees.
The offensive created a major rift between Ankara and Washington, even though it was made available by Trump giving the decision to pull U.S. troops from the area.
After over one week of fast-moving events, Turkey and the U.S. reached a deal regarding a cease of operations in the area, which was followed by Ankara also reaching an agreement with Moscow about northern Syria on Oct. 22.
The issue of ISIS militants kept by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) became the source of debate between Turkey, the U.S. and European countries, with the latter expressing concern over the possibility of jihadists escaping from the facilities they are held.
Trump also reiterated his earlier comments regarding “bringing U.S. soldiers back home.”
“Oil is secured. Our soldiers have left and are leaving Syria for other places, then COMING HOME! We were supposed to be there for 30 days – That was 10 years ago. When these pundit fools who have called the Middle East wrong for 20 years ask what we are getting out of the deal, I simply say, THE OIL, AND WE ARE BRINGING OUR SOLDIERS BACK HOME, ISIS SECURED!” he said.