Turkey will not stop its operation against Kurdish militants in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday, dismissing what he called "threats" from other countries. "It doesn't matter what certain people say, we will not stop," Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.
Turkey’s assault on Syrian Kurdish forces has not breached a red line declared by President Donald Trump, a US official said Thursday, as he added that Washington wanted to broker a ceasefire. Trump, in a week of mixed messages, initially voiced understanding for Turkey before criticizing the offensive and warning of sanctions if the operation is not “humane.”
Asked to define what actions would violate Trump’s vague warning, the US official said they would include “ethnic cleansing... indiscriminate artillery, air and other fires directed at civilian populations.”
“That is what we’re looking at right now. We have not seen significant examples of that so far, but we’re very early,” the official told reporters on condition of anonymity.
He said that the operation launched Wednesday was not yet large-scale, saying the Turks “really have not engaged in great depth or in great numbers inside the border yet.”
“That’s one reason why we’re issuing so many warnings, because we’re very, very concerned about such indiscriminate firings,” he said.
Trump has come under heavy criticism at home, even among usually steadfast Republican supporters, who say he abandoned US-allied Kurdish fighters who led the fight against the Islamic State group.