US lawmakers Bob Menendez, Jim Risch, Gregory Meeks and Michael McCaul expressed concern over Turkey’s continued threats to launch a new military operation in northern Syria in a joint statement issued on 15 June.
“Previous Turkish incursions have disrupted counter-ISIS operations by U.S. and partner forces and exacerbated Syria’s dire humanitarian crisis. Another Turkish incursion would have the same disastrous results, including displacing countless vulnerable Syrians,” they said, “strongly urging” the Turkish government to refrain from any operations in northern Syria.
On 24 May, US State Department spokesman Ned Price also said that Washington was “deeply concerned” about reports of increased military activity in northern Syria, particularly over its impact on the civilian population there.
Washington and Ankara made a ceasefire agreement in October 2019 that required Syrian Kurdish forces to withdraw to 20 km from Turkey’s southern border to create a buffer between People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Turkey. The United States still expects Turkey to comply with the terms of the 2019 deal and not engage in any military offensives in the region while keeping to the agreed upon limits of what Turkey calls a ‘safe zone’, Price said.