While extending the US national emergency over Syria, Biden called Turkey's actions, especially its military operations against the Kurds in northeastern Syria, a threat to US national interests.
In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Biden formally extended Executive Order 13894 first implemented following Turkey’s 2019 military incursion against Kurdish-led fighters in northeastern Syria.
“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 said.
Noting that the general situation in and around Syria is also affecting these issues, Biden informed the presidents of the Congress and the Senate of his decision to extend the state of emergency in Syria.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring against the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in October 2019 after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly secured the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region in a phone-call with former president Donald Trump.
Trump reversed the decision following domestic and international outcry over civilian casualties and displacements caused by the Turkish intervention.
Biden has since signaled more steadfast support for the SDF, which continues to launch operations against ISIS militants.
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