US “very closely” watching Turkey operation — Nat’l Security Adviser

WASHINGTON, US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien reiterated that the US did not endorse the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, saying “we’re watching this very closely and we’re very concerned about the situation.” “We did not endorse the military operation, we’re not involved in the military operation and I don’t think this is going to go well in the long run for the Turks,” O’Brien said in an interview on Fox Business Network.

He affirmed “we don’t have any troops in the area, so there’s no safety issue for American soldiers. But it’s something we’re watching and monitoring with great concern.” “There are a number of things we’re watching very closely, and that is civilians and how they’re impacted by this military operation. We don’t want to see a humanitarian disaster,” he noted.

He added “we also had a great victory against the (IS) caliphate and we don’t want to see that rolled back because of this Turkish action. So we’re watching this very closely and we’re very concerned about the situation.” He stressed “if the Turks don’t meet their commitments and if this operation continues, I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be economic sanctions again.” “We’ll have to wait and see,” he noted. “I think that (Turkey’s) President Erdogan knows that President Trump means business.” Meanwhile, a senior State Department official told reporters during a conference call that the US “will not endorse” the operation, “it will not give it any kind of political cover or in any way think that it is a good idea,” and that “the United States will not give any military support.” The official affirmed “it endangers our allies in the fight against terror, the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), most of whom are from the region.” “If Turkey acts in a way that is disproportionate, inhumane, or otherwise goes beyond the lines that the President has in his own mind, the United States is willing to impose significant costs,” the official stressed. “These would be diplomatic and particularly financial, economic.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency