US President Joe Biden on Thursday accused Turkey of undermining the fight against the Islamic State with its military offensive in northeast Syria.
In a letter to to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Biden says that Turkey endangers the national security and foreign policy of the United States.
“The situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the actions by the Government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria, undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region, and continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Biden says in the letter to Pelosi.
He adds that “I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13894 with respect to the situation in and in relation to Syria.”
President Biden is referring to the Executive Order issued by his predecessor Donald Trump which, among others, imposes sanctions on Turkish officials whose actions or policies threaten the peace, security, stability, or territorial integrity of Syria and those suspected of the commission of serious human rights abuse in the country.
In October 2020, Trump extended the national emergency with respect to Syria, blaming Turkey for “undermining the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.”
In the notice on the “Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to the Situation In and In Relation to Syria,” Trump said that Turkey’s military offensive into northeast Syria “endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region.”
Turkey and Russia increase cooperation in Syria
Biden’s latest intervention comes as Turkey and Russia have joined forces to impose a “solution” in Syria.
Russia is “determined” to continue close cooperation and coordinated work with Turkey on diplomatic and military lines to fully normalize the situation in Syria, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on October 7.
The Syrian settlement traditionally occupies one of the central places in dialogue between Moscow and Ankara, Maria Zakharova told a news conference in Moscow.
She said: “In particular, we are talking about the northeast of the country, the province of Idlib,” which falls within a de-escalation zone forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia in March 2020.
Zakharova recalled that both the countries are initiators and members of the Astana format, stressing that they “are firmly determined to continue contributing to the advancement of the political process in Syria” on the basis of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.
She welcomed “the beginning of humanitarian supplies to Idlib through the line of contact in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2585 and the norms of international humanitarian law.”
The Syrian civil war started in 2011 with peaceful demonstrations against Bashar al-Assad that were suppressed with brutal force by his regime.