The military preparations for an imminent Turkish incursion on Syria have been completed but US President Donald Trump seems to be stirring conflicting responses, after signals of complicity with Ankara.
AFP reported that Trump said on October 8th that the US has not "abandoned" its Kurdish allies inside Syria, continuing to give a mixed message to Turkey.
"We may be in the process of leaving Syria, but in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters," Trump tweeted.
These statements came just one day after Washington announced a plan to withdraw its troops from northern Syria, in a step that was viewed as a green light from the US for Turkish military aggression against the Kurds.
The Turkish president has repeatedly threatened to attack Kurdish fighters in northern Syria due to their alleged ties with separatists in his own country.
"All of the preparations for an operation have been completed," the Turkish defence ministry tweeted.
Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier said the operation could come at any moment "without warning".
Turkey says it wants a "safe zone" along northern Syria to act as a buffer against Kurdish forces and also allow the return home of up to two million Syrian refugees.
It has previously launched two cross-border offensives, one against Isis in 2016 and the other against the mostly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in 2018, with the support of Syrian extremist groups.
As Kurdish groups have fought alongside US forces against the Isis terrorist organization in Syria, Trump's decision to withdraw the US forces was seen by prominent figures of his own Republican party as a betrayal.
Trump did not say he opposed any operation by Turkey against the Kurds, but he warned that "unforced or unnecessary fighting" would prompt "devastating" consequences for the country's economy.
On Monday, Trump threatened to "obliterate" Turkey's economy if it did "anything outside of what we would think is humane."