Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that statements claiming the United States would stop sending aid to northwestern Syria did not reflect what was really going on, since there was no US presence in the region.
The Turkish president explained that the United States was not carrying out a humanitarian action in northwestern Syria, nor were there any US troops in Idlib and Douma. He clarified that only Turkish and Russian troops were operating in the region, including Afrin.
“This is an inconsistent statement. What assistance does the United States provide in Syria’s northwest? Russia is operating there. The United States [aid] is mostly deployed on the Manbij side. And the help they are providing there consists of weapons and ammunition supplies to the YPG [Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units, banned in Turkey],” Erdogan told reporters, as cited by the TRT broadcaster.
The statement refers to the Friday’s report by CBS News, citing US administration officials, saying that Washington decided to cut financial aid to northwestern Syria and redirect it to areas where it had a greater impact. According to the media, the United States had been engaged in counterterrorism activities and providing support to independent society and media in the region. The United States would, however, continue providing humanitarian aid there, the media added.
US President Donald Trump in March suspended over $200 million in funds for recovery efforts in Syria after suggesting that the United States’ withdrawal was only a matter of time.