MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s statement about Washington’s readiness to take military action against Turkey is part of a dispute with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but in fact the US is unlikely to use military force, Chairman of the Russian Federation Council (the upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told TASS on Tuesday.
Pompeo said earlier in an interview with CNBC that "in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action."
"It’s not clear from Pompeo’s words what could prompt the US to take a military action against Turkey. The fact that he did not draw a ‘red line’ proves that it must be something extraordinary, like Turkey’s deliberate attack on US troops deployed to the region. But it will hardly happen, so the situation will remain as it is: Erdogan will continue to demonstrate his independent policy towards Syria and the Kurds, while Washington has shaken a finger at Ankara and will now return to sanctions and diplomacy, which is what the secretary of state said," Kosachev pointed out.
According to him, the US seeks to show its determination and prove that it hasn’t actually abandoned the Kurds, "while all Trump critics have pointed to that."
"US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s statement is not a declaration of intent but a continuation of a debate with Turkey’s President Erdogan, which was transferred to Pompeo’s level for tactical reasons. Otherwise, it would have turned out that Trump is threatening a war against Erdogan right after calling him a friend," the Russian senator noted.
Kosachev believes that the US president’s policy to withdraw from wars, which he has publicly confirmed, means that no new military operations will be launched, to say nothing of an operation against a NATO ally "with unclear goals."
On October 14, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Ankara over its military operation in northern Syria. The document authorizes the US secretary of the treasury to sanction Turkish officials for "actions or policies that further threaten the peace, security, stability, or territorial integrity of Syria."
On October 17, the United States, represented by Vice President Mike Pence, reached a deal with Erdogan to pause Operation Peace Spring. Turkey consented to a 120-hour ceasefire so that Kurdish units making up the coalition of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could leave the areas of the border security zone that Ankara is attempting to create.
Pence said following the meeting that Washington would not introduce new sanctions on Ankara, removing existing economic restrictions, once a permanent ceasefire was secured.