The US State Department has raised deep concerns about reports of a planned Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, saying they worry about the civilian population, and that more fighting would put the US troops there at risk.
The area of northern Syria being targeted includes a lot of Kurdish territory. The Turkish government is constantly at odds with the local YPG, and the US statement acknowledged "Turkey’s legitimate security concerns."
State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday, "We are deeply concerned about reports and discussions of potential increased military activity in northern Syria, and in particular, its impact on the civilian population there."
"We recognize Turkey's legitimate security concerns on Turkey's southern border, but any new offensive would further undermine regional stability and put at risk US forces and the coalition’s campaign against ISIS," he said.
The YPG had been US allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and while the US isn’t hostile with them after that, they’ve largely not done anything about Turkish incursions in the area.
Turkey’s President Erdogan says the new operations will create a 30 km deep safe zone along the Syrian zone, saying it was necessarily to combat the "terrorists." He spoke about it as if it's 'unfinished business' which started in 2019. "We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30km deep safe zone we established along our southern border," Erdogan said.
You can argue that Trump was in office when Turkey and its allied rebels carried out attacks in Afrin and northwestern Hasakah, and that Biden is different….but there also wasn’t a war in Ukraine. Turkey is already not happy over sanctions and I can’t see Erdogan backing down.— ليث ابو فاضل (@leithfadel) May 25, 2022
The US presence in Syria is limited, with only a very small base near an oil facility set up with designs to take Syria’s oil. It’s unlikely either side would deliberately attack the US but this fighting could worsen security in general and create opportunities for ISIS remnants or others.