Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier emphasised the country’s determination to persist with a military campaign against the Kurds and Daesh* remaining in the area “no matter what anyone says”, calling on Turkey’s NATO allies, some of whom have pulled military exports to Ankara, to assist in their battle against militants.
According to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, NATO does not support Turkey and is thereby facing a tough choice – either go with Ankara or the “terrorists”.
“We are members of NATO, and the charter of the bloc has Article 5 (urging the response of all members of the alliance when one of them is under attack). We are under the threat of a terrorist organisation. And in accordance with Article 5, NATO should be with us”, he told reporters further asking:
“Are you with us or with terrorists? There has been no exact answer”, Erdogan rounded off, adding European leaders, at least with whom he recently talked over the phone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have found themselves “under serious misinformation pressure”.
US Troops Between a Rock and a Hard Place
As President Donald Trump has ordered the remaining US contingent out of northern Syria, thereby paving the way for Turkey’s incursion along their joint border with the Arab country, Defence Secretary Mark Esper told a CBS interview on Sunday that US forces are largely trapped in Syria:
“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing, advancing armies and it’s a very untenable situation. I spoke with the president last night, after discussions with the rest of the national security team, and he directed that we begin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria”, Esper told “Face the Nation”.
“Which is where most of our forces are”, he added referring to the majority of the 1,000 US troops in Syria stationed in the northern part of the country, while there is also a small presence in the south, where the US has been taking anti-Daesh fighters not affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF.)