Pentagon Chief: Turkey’s Resettlement of Refugees Could Destabilize Syria

Turkey plans to move a million Syrians back into northern Syria

US officials have long objected to Turkey’s actions in Syria, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper suggested Wednesday that he believes Turkey’s planned resettlement of refugees into the territory in northern Syria that the Turkish military now occupies will destabilize the situation.

Turkey has made no bones about wanting to get rid of some of those Syrian refugees, and that it views the occupied “safe zone” in northwest Syria as a natural place to send them.

Turkey’s invasion and occupation of the safe zone is already a subject of a lot of disagreement, as it is creating tension with the local Kurds. Sending in a million war refugees, all of them with their own beefs from the war, will likely add to differing agendas in the area.

Pentagon officials were already predicting a full instability and a return to ISIS in the next 6-12 months if US troops left, and are now predicting Turkey’s plan will make things even worse.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of