In Call With Erdogan, Trump Backs Turkey on Syria

Trump reaffirms Syria, Russia must halt offensive

President Trump had a call with Turkey’s President Erdogan on Friday, and according to White House officials, Trump backed Turkey absolutely in Syria, demanding Syria and Russia immediately halt their offensive in Idlib Province.

The White House comments again presented Turkey’s operations as trying to “de-escalate the situation in northwest Syria,” when it would be more correct to say they are trying to keep Islamist groups from being defeated outright by the Syrian government.

With Turkey’s military operations risking running up against Russia, what they likely want is US military backing. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has already said that’s not under serious consideration.

Other US officials say that the US is looking to “help” Turkey in this operation, but it will most likely be in the form of information-sharing and equipment, not direct US military involvement.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.