Small Wars Journal

U.S. Steps Up Efforts to End Turkey’s Kurdish Offensive

U.S. Steps Up Efforts to End Turkey’s Kurdish Offensive  by Dion Nissenbaum and Nancy A. Youssef – Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is pressing Turkey and U.S.-backed Kurdish forces to pull back from a deepening military conflict in Syria, warning Ankara not to target its Kurdish partners and telling the fighters not to join the battle against Turkey.

President Donald Trump made the case directly to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a call on Wednesday, in which the two men discussed Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish forces in northwestern Syria.

The president “urged Turkey to de-escalate, limit its military actions, and avoid civilian casualties,” a White House statement said. “He urged Turkey to exercise caution and avoid any actions that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.”

Before speaking with Mr. Trump, Mr. Erdogan publicly threatened to expand Turkey’s military campaign toward the strategic Syrian town of Manbij, where U.S. special forces helped Kurdish-led fighters oust Islamic State in 2016. U.S. officials said they have made it clear to Turkey that an attack on Manbij is unacceptable…

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