European Union: Operation in Northeast Syria to undermine coalition’s efforts to counter the Islamic State
A military operation in Northeastern Syria would undermine the international coalition’s efforts to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS or Daesh) terrorist group, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said.
“Military action in Northeast of Syria would exacerbate civilian suffering, undermine current work of the Global Coalition against Daesh, and make prospects for the UN led political process to achieve peace in the country even more difficult,” the EU top diplomat wrote on her Twitter page, according to TASS.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated that Ankara intended to act on its own to set up a safety zone East of the Euphrates River in Syria, because it failed to attain the intended goals in the course of phone consultations with the US side.
On Sunday, Erdogan held a phone conversation with President Donald Trump, during which the US side announced it would not join the planned Turkish military operation in Syria or support it in any way, while US servicemen will be withdrawn from the immediate area of it.
On Monday, the United States, who sided with the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group, started withdrawing their personnel and military hardware from their bases in Ras al-Ain and Tell Abyad.
Later in the day, the aircraft of the Turkish Air Force carried out an airstrike on a Kurdish command center in the city of Al-Malikiyah in Syria’s Northeasternmost Hasaka Governorate. Shortly after, the Turkish artillery shelled Kurdish positions in the North of Syria’s Raqqa governorate.