US troops in northern Syria will no longer be near the border with Turkey, nor will they support Ankara's "planned operation" in the country, the White House said Sunday.
"Turkey will soon move forward with its planned operation for a long time in northern Syria. The United States Armed Forces will not support or participate in the operation, and the United States forces, having defeated the & # 39; Caliphate & # 39 ; territorial ISIS, they will no longer be in the immediate area, "said the White House, using another acronym for the militant group of the Islamic State (IS).
The statement, which followed the phone call of U.S. President Donald Trump, with his counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, also criticized "France, Germany and other European nations" for not repatriating their detained citizens in northern Syria that had joined the Islamic State.
"Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters in the area captured in the last two years following the defeat of the & # 39; Caliphate & # 39; territorial by the United States," the statement said.
Meanwhile, Erdogan spokesman today said The planned "safe zone" in northern Syria aims to eliminate terrorist elements from the border and return refugees to Syria safely within the framework of Syrian territorial integrity.
Earlier on Sunday, Erdogan and Trump agreed during a phone call to meet in Washington next month to discuss the creation of a "safe zone" in northern Syria, the Turkish presidency said.
Erdogan also expressed his "frustration over the failure of the US military and security bureaucracy" to implement an August agreement that establishes a buffer zone on the Turkish border.
The previous day, the Turkish leader warned that Ankara could launch a cross-border offensive "as soon as today, tomorrow."
Washington had previously tried to stop any Turkish operation against a US-backed Syrian Kurdish militia, seen by Ankara as a "terrorist" branch of Kurdish militants in Turkey.
The United States worked closely with the militia of the People's Protection Units (YPG) to recover swathes of territory from IS militants.