US President Joe Biden on Thursday singled out Turkey for undermining the fight against ISIS with its military offensive in northeast Syria.
Biden sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi notifying her of his intention to extend the National Emergency with relation to Syria.
Such a decision is made when US national security and foreign policy interests are threatened.
“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 in a letter to Pelosi. “Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13894 with respect to the situation in and in relation to Syria,” the US president said.
Syria has been ravaged by a decade of war between what started out as an opposition to longtime President Bashar al-Assad. Assad proceeded with launching a vicious crackdown on peaceful protesters and proceeded to use chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.
Russia, Iran and Iranian proxies, including Hezbollah, intervened to prop up the Assad regime.
At the same time, Turkey launched multiple offensives against Kurdish forces and militias on the Syrian-Turkish border.
The Kurds, backed by the US, have played a significant role in the fight to defeat ISIS and other radical groups. Turkey has been accused of arming terrorist groups to fight back against the Kurdish YPG, which it considers an affiliate of the PKK – a dubbed “terrorist” organization by Turkey.