Any military incursion into northern Syria risks doing tremendous damage to civilians and innocent people, said US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, in an interview with Al-Arabiya on 29 January.
Asked about how the US views Turkey’s potential incursion into Kurdish-controlled northern Syria and the rapprochement between the Turks and others towards Assad regime, Blinken drew attention to two points.
“When it comes to northern Syria, we’ve urged everyone to try to calm the waters,” said Blinken, making it clear that the US does not support any military incursion into the country, as it will threaten the lives of civilians.
He noted that any military incursion into the region would also potentially disrupt efforts to continue to keep the Islamic State (ISIS) at bay and draw focus away from that.
“Turkey has legitimate security interests. There’s no disputing that. But those interests can be dealt with effectively without, I think, a military intervention,” said Blinken.
Recently Mazloum Abdi, the commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls North and East Syria, said they expect a Turkish ground operation in February.
The Kurdish commander said there were around 12,000 Syrian soldiers stationed near Kobanê (Ayn al-Arab) city, in North and East Syria in readiness for the possible attack.