The imminent cross-border military operation pitting Turkey against the Syrian Kurds - a group Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan views as terrorists amid a bloody Kurdish insurgency plaguing his country - is likely to further destabilize an already volatile area and has already led Kurds there to accuse the USA of abandoning them.
"As the President has stated, Turkey would be responsible, along with European nations and others, for thousands of ISIS fighters who had been captured and defeated in the campaign lead by the United States", he said.
However, Ankara is dissatisfied for delays in withdrawing the People's Protection Units (YPG), which it sees as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), while the United States continues arms support to the Kurdish fighters. It now hosts 3.6 million Syrians sheltering from Syria's more than eight-year conflict.
The Kurdish fighters also control the al-Hol camp, home to more than 70,000 including at least 9000 foreigners, mostly wives and children of IS fighters.
It was not clear whether that meant the U.S. would be withdrawing its 1000 or so troops completely from northern Syria.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Sunday that the United States is seeking to exploit a group of Syrian Kurds by supporting them militarily.
Mr Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Turkey's "safe zone" plan was within the framework of Syria's territorial integrity.
The U.S. armed forces will not support or be involved in an expected operation by Turkey in northern Syria and will remove forces from "the immediate area", the White House said on Sunday.
But the US has relied on the Kurdish fighters who lead the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as its most effective partner in the fight against ISIS in Syria.
The White House statement said the U.S.
In an agreement between Ankara and Washington, joint U.S and Turkish aerial and ground patrols had started in a security zone that covers over 125 kilometres (78 miles) along the Turkey-Syria border between the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.
Earlier, Mr Trump said it was time "to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal" and that "Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out".
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called in to "Fox & Friends" to rebuke President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from Syria, marking a rare moment in which one of the commander-in-chief's most loyal allies pushed back against him on his favorite morning show. It has repeatedly warned of starting an offensive on its own into northeast Syria.
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington from Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, Aug. 18, 2019.
Turkish and American soldiers stand near a former YPG military point during a joint U.S. -Turkey patrol, near Tel Abyad, Syria, on September 8.
One US commander who helped lead the anti-ISIS effort told Fox News the decision amounts to a propaganda victory for China and Russian Federation, saying those countries can tell would-be US partners that America will abandon them. They have been fighting Turkey for decades.