The U.S. has not granted Turkey any green light for recent attacks or future “land incursion” against northeast Syria, the U.S. Senior Representative to northeast Syria, Nikolas Granger, said on Tuesday.
Granger, in a press briefing via zoom app, stressed his country’s strong opposition to any military action, including “a land incursion” in the region that would threaten the “shared goal” to fight Islamic State Organization (ISIS).
“I want to make it clear that there has been no green light from the United States for any of the attacks we have seen … over the recent weeks, or for any future military activity,” Kurdistan 24 cited Granger as saying.
When asked about the US efforts in mediatizing intra-Kurdish talks, he said that the US is “facilitating dialogue” among Kurdish actors as well as between the Kurds and other components towards stability in the area, according to Kurdistan 24.
He stressed the importance of having an “open space” for all political actors to engage fully in the political process.
He expressed his country’s vision that northeast Syria, known as Rojava, is a part of the entire future of Syria, adding that Syrians should decide about the future of their country.
On Nov. 25, Granger called for “immediate de-escalation,” adding that such an escalation threatens “civilians and US personnel.”
He expressed “deep concern and sincere condolences for the loss of civilian life” in the recent escalation, which is “unacceptably dangerous.”
Areas in north and northeastern Syria, since Nov. 20, have been witnessing Turkish military escalation, targeting wide-scale areas via warplanes, drones and shells, the issue that caused massive damage to infrastructures and the loss of dozens of civilians and military personnel.
Expanding US patrols
The U.S. prepares to resume full ground operations alongside Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in areas in northern Syria, a step that officials saw on Tuesday may inflame relations with Turkey more.
The Washington Post cited US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying such a move may risk further inflaming US-Turkish relations.
US commanders restricted such movements after the recent Turkish attacks on the areas held by SDF, which Turkey blames for the Istanbul bombing on November 13.
Col. Joe Buccino, U.S. CENTCOM spokesman, was quoted by the Washington Post as saying, “We are concerned with any action that may jeopardize the hard-fought gains made in security and stability in Syria.”
“We’re concerned for the security of the SDF…in a place where we’ve withdrawn most troops,” Buccino added.
The SDF are important for the process of defeating ISIS, as they oversee al-Hal Camp that shelters the families of ISIS who live in squalid conditions, unable to return to their home countries, according to Buccino.
The Washington Post said, citing Bradley Bowman, a foreign policy and military analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, that without the SDF, ISIS would likely still hold broad swaths of territory or that the US military would have suffered thousands of casualties attempting to root the militants out on its own.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.