US Concerned at Turkish Plans For New Offensive in North Syria

New operations would put US troops at risk

The US State Department has raised deep concerns about reports of a planned Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, saying they worry about the civilian population, and that more fighting would put the US troops there at risk.

The area of northern Syria being targeted includes a lot of Kurdish territory. The Turkish government is constantly at odds with the local YPG, and the US statement acknowledged “Turkey’s legitimate security concerns.”

The YPG had been US allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and while the US isn’t hostile with them after that, they’ve largely not done anything about Turkish incursions in the area.

Turkey’s President Erdogan says the new operations will create a 30 km deep safe zone along the Syrian zone, saying it was necessarily to combat the “terrorists.”

The US presence in Syria is limited, with only a very small base near an oil facility set up with designs to take Syria’s oil. It’s unlikely either side would deliberately attack the US but this fighting could worsen security in general and create opportunities for ISIS remnants or others.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.