Turkish forces pushed deeper into northeastern Syria on Friday, the third day of Ankara's cross-border offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters that has set off another mass displacement of civilians and met with widespread criticism from the worldwide community.
But Erdogan swiftly responded by vowing that the assault "will not stop".
The US is "encouraging them to not overreact at this point and to try to tamp things down in order to allow some sort of diplomatic resolution", he said. We have a very good relationship with the Kurds.
US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin arrives in the briefing room of the White House in Washington on Octopber 11, 2019.
Russia's Nebenzia called the Turkish operation "the result of demographic engineering some of the coalition partners did in the northeast of Syria".
The Syrian Kurdish militia was a U.S. ally in the campaign that brought down the Islamic State group in Syria.
Milley emphasized that U.S. forces are still working with Kurdish forces.
The risk that thousands of the jihadists they still hold could break free on the back of the Turkish assault could yet spur the worldwide community into action.
But a horrified Ankara pointed out that the bulk of America's new Kurdish allies came from the People's Protection Units (YPG), a force known to have links to the PKK.
"There is heavy fighting between the SDF and the Turks on different fronts, mostly from Tal Abyad to Ras al-Ain", the Syria Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Department of Defense's stated position came after Trump said early on October 7 that the United States would be pulling out of Syria after protracted negotiations yielded little from allies and after American-led forces pummeled ISIS in the area.
While Trump did not name the publication or writer of the article he referrenced, a Daily Beast reporter pointed to a Kurt Schlichter column published on the website Townhall one day before the president's remarks.
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The SDF, which have little armour and no air force, are unlikely to hold out very long against Turkish firepower in the flat and open terrain they are defending. United States troops were removed from observation posts within Turkey's operation zone, but have not been withdrawn from the country.
The International Rescue Committee helps organization said that 64 000 people had already reportedly fled their homes.
It also said the offensive had captured more than 10 villages in the Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad area, where the SDF appears to be under severe pressure.
The United Nations estimates 100,000 people have been displaced from the fighting since Wednesday.
"Is it all simply because we are Kurds?"
It wants a 30-kilometre (20-mile) wide buffer zone along the border, which can also serve as an area to repatriate millions of Syrian refugees now living in Turkey.
Turkey, which staged two previous offensives into Syria since the start of the conflict, relies heavily on Syrian proxy fighters, many of whom once battled President Bashar al-Assad's troops.
Meanwhile, Milutinovic says, humanitarian groups fear that the offensive could disrupt aid supply lines, which have been coming into Syria from Iraq.
"This crackdown violates Turkey's obligations under global human right law, and it will not make the brutal realities of the offensive magically disappear".
"I am not sure whether the Turkish army will be able to bring this under control", Putin warned. "This is a real threat to us".
"So for them [captured ISIS militants] to go unguarded and be able to escape into our Western world creates a serious global security risk", she said.
One charity closed down a hospital it supported in Tal Abyad because the staff had fled and shelling led the Kurdish authorities to transfer an entire camp of people who had been displaced earlier in the Syrian war.
According to the Kurdish administration, some 12,000 men are held in seven detention centres across Kurdish-controlled areas.