Trump says US has moved Islamic State fighters in Syria amid Turkey’s military offensive

Published: Oct 10, 2019, 3:22 am IST

Washington, Oct 10 (Sputnik) The United States has moved several dangerous Islamic State (banned in Russia) terrorist fighters from prisons in northern Syria amid the Turkish offensive, US President Donald Trump said during a press briefing. “We are taking some of the most dangerous ISIS [Islamic State] fighters out, we’ve taken them out,” Trump said on Wednesday. “We’re putting them in different locations where it’s secure.”

Trump said he also agreed to impose sanctions on Turkey if the country’s incursion into northern Syria is inhumane and vowed to take even tougher measures. Moreover, Trump said the United States’ involvement in the Middle East is a big mistake and argued that Washington is doing the job that others, like Iran, Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and other European countries, should be doing in the region.

Currently Turkey is conducting a land offensive in northeastern Syria as part of Operation Peace Spring against Kurdish fighters as well as the Islamic State. While the United States backed Kurdish forces in Syria as allies in the fight against the Islamic State, Turkey considers them to be an arm of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Turkey has classified the PKK as a terrorist organization.

Turkey claims the operation in Syria is aimed at clearing the border area of Kurdish militias, creating a security zone and accommodating Syrian refugees.