|Date: Oct 7, 2019|
|Source: The Daily Star|
|U.S. move in Syria a "stab in back" for SDF: SDF spokesman|
|U.S. forces will not defend Kurdish forces in Syria: U.S. official|
BEIRUT: The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has been "stabbed in the back" by a surprise U.S. statement Monday that U.S. forces would not be involved in a Turkish operation in northern Syria, the SDF said.
"There were assurances from the United States of America that it would not allow any Turkish military operations against the region," SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said in an interview with al-Hadath TV.
The SDF had been "completely committed" to a U.S.-guaranteed deal for a "security mechanism" for the border area, he added.
"But the (U.S.) statement today was a surprise and we can say that it is a stab in the back for the SDF," he said.
Turkey says will not allow IS to return
Agence France Presse
ANKARA: Turkey will not permit the Islamic State group to return, a presidential spokesman said Monday, amid fears its threatened offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria could bolster the jihadists.
"Turkey will also continue to fight against DAESH (IS) and will not allow it to return in any shape and form," Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter.
US forces have been pulling back from positions along the Turkey-Syria border after the White House said Sunday it would not stand in the way of a Turkish operation against Kurdish militants in Syria.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the US withdrawal threatened to create a security vacuum that would "reverse the successful effort to defeat ISIS".
Ankara says its planned "safe zone" in northern Syria could allow up to two million Syrian refugees to return.
The safe zone "will serve two purposes: secure Turkey's borders by eliminating terrorist elements and allow refugees to return to their homes," Kalin said.
He said Turkey had "no interest in occupation or changing demographics".
There are over 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, the highest number in the world, which has become an increasing source of tension in the country.
Turkey has strength to eliminate terrorism without allies: senior official
ANKARA: Turkey has the strength necessary to eliminate terrorism at its source, with or without support from its allies, a Turkish senior official told Reuters Monday ahead of an expected Turkish incursion into Syria.
On Sunday, the White House said Turkey will soon move forward with its long-planned military operation to create what it calls a "safe zone" in northern Syria and U.S. forces will not support or be involved in it.
The official said Turkey would decide on its own the scope, place and timing of precautions to be taken against risks to its security.
U.S. forces will not defend Kurdish forces in Syria: U.S. official
ISTANBUL: The United States informed the commander of the Kurdish-led SDF forces in Syria Monday morning that U.S. forces will not defend them from Turkish attacks anywhere, a U.S. official told Reuters ahead of an expected Turkish offensive.
The official said U.S. forces had evacuated two observation posts at Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain in northeast Syria, along the Turkish border. The other U.S. forces in the region were still in position for now, the official said.