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Saudi Press Agency

US Secretary of Defense Affirms US and International Opposition of Turkish Invasion in Syrian Territories

Saudi Press Agency

Tuesday 1441/2/16 - 2019/10/15

Washington, Oct. 15, 2019, SPA -- US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper affirmed that "despite the opposition and repeated warnings from the United States and the international community, Turkish President Erdogan ordered a unilateral invasion of northern Syria that has resulted in widespread casualties, refugees, destruction, insecurity, and a growing threat to US military forces.

In a statement issued by the US Department of Defense issued yesterday, Esper said that "this unacceptable incursion has also undermined the successful multinational "defeat ISIS" mission in Syria, and resulted in the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees."

"Due to Turkey's irresponsible actions, the risk to US forces in northeast Syria has reached an unacceptable level. We are also at risk of being engulfed in a broader conflict. Therefore, at US President Donald Trump's direction, the US Department of Defense is executing a deliberate withdrawal of US military personnel from northeast Syria," the US Secretary of Defense added.

He asserted that Turkey's unilateral action was unnecessary and impulsive, pointing out that President Erdogan bears full responsibility for its consequences, to include a potential ISIS resurgence, possible war crimes, and a growing humanitarian crisis. He affirmed that the bilateral relationship between the United States and Turkey has also been damaged.

"I will be visiting NATO next week in Brussels, where I plan to press our other NATO allies to take collective and individual diplomatic and economic measures in response to these egregious Turkish actions," he concluded.

20:49 LOCAL TIME 17:49 GMT

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