Turkish assault on Afrin has caused 'Operational Pause' in fight against IS in Syria: A significant number of fighters in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have left their positions in the middle Euphrates River Valley and gone to defend Afrin, which has been under Turkish attack since Jan. 20, and to Manbij, which Ankara has also threatened.
Responding to a question from Kurdistan 24, Col. Rob Manning, Director of Press Operations at the Pentagon, acknowledged that the Turkish attack had led to an “operational pause.”
However, Manning dismissed its significance, saying that “operational pauses occur regularly for a variety of reasons.”
“We are still focused on [IS],” Manning said, and “the SDF are our major partner in our ability to do that.”
“We will continue to support Gen. Mazloum and the local Syrian military in those liberated areas,” he continued.
US officials have long said that the US will maintain its support for the SDF, despite objections from Ankara, which calls its Kurdish component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a terrorist organization.
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