US diplomat stresses importance of preserving stability in NE Syria

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS), Ethan A. Goldrich stressed on Tuesday the “importance of preserving stability in northeast Syria.”

This came in tandem with ongoing Turkish threats to invade areas in northern Syria.

The US Embassy in Syria tweeted that Goldrich spoke with leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and stressed the need to  “observe ceasefires and ​taking actions to de-escalate and preserve stability in northeast Syria.”

He stressed his country’s commitment to “ensuring the lasting defeat of ISIS in partnership with the SDF.”

On May 23, Erdogan announced taking steps to complete the so-called remained portions of the “safe zone” plan along Turkey’s southern border saying, “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30 km deep safe zone we established along our southern border.” 

The Turkish “safe zone” is an area of 30-35 km (19-22 miles) deep into Syrian territory that Turkey started establishing in 2019 to house Syrian refugees in an area along its border with Syria, as well as to keep it free from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which it regards as terrorists.

On May 25, Turkey’s National Security Council said that Turkey’s “existing and future military operations along its southern borders were necessary for the country’s security.” In the meeting, Erdogan delivered a speech to the MPs of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and said, “Turkish military would continue to rid its neighbor of terrorists” refers to the SDF.

On June 1, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed his threats of launching a military operation on northern Syria, and specified his targets in the two Syrian cities of Manbij and Tel Rifaat, which include many Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

In a special meeting held on Tuesday with attendance of the commanders of the SDF military councils to discuss recent developments in in the region following Turkish threats.  SDF said that a potential Turkish invasion would negatively affect the stability and unity of the Syrian territories,

The SDF stressed, “the invasion will be confronted not only in the targeted areas but also in the already occupied Syrian territories.”

Reporting by Saya Muhammad