• Pompeo defended Trump's surprise decision to pull back US forces.
  • US Secretary of State says reports the US had allowed Turkey to launch the offensive were “just false".
  • Turkish forces are planning to make a “safe zone" after clearing it from Kurdish militants.

(Karachi) United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the United States did not approve Turkey's attack on Syria, BBC reported on Thursday.

“The US did not give Turkey a green light for its offensive in Syria," he commented.

Pompeo also defended Trump's surprise decision to pull back US forces, adding that Turkey has a “legitimate security concern" and “a terrorist threat to their south".

He said reports the US had allowed Turkey to launch the offensive were “just false".

“The United States didn't give Turkey a green light," he said.

On Wednesday, Turkey launched an assault on territory held by Kurdish-led forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the aim was to “prevent the creation of a terror corridor" on the border.

The Turkish forces are planning to make a “safe zone" after clearing it from Kurdish militants which will also house Syrian refugees.

However, the Kurdish-led forces vowed to resist the offensive.

The Kurds – who defeated the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria and were key US allies in that fight – guard thousands of IS fighters and their relatives in prisons and camps in areas under their control. It is unclear whether they will continue to do so if battles break out.