US Steps Up Efforts to End Turkey's Kurdish Offensive

US Steps Up Efforts to End Turkey's Kurdish Offensive

US Steps Up Efforts to End Turkey's Kurdish Offensive

Trump also invited closer bilateral cooperation to address "Turkey's legitimate security concerns". It did not elaborate on that rhetoric.

McKenzie said there was no evidence of US-backed Kurdish fighters in eastern Syria traveling to Afrin to fight the Turkish operation but acknowledged that there was a risk of such a scenario playing out.

In the wake of the start of Ankara's Olive Branch Operation in Afrin, Damascus has strongly condemned the offensive, calling Turkey's move "a violation of the country's sovereignty".

"We call on the Syrian state to carry out its sovereign obligations towards Afrin and protect its borders with Turkey from attacks of the Turkish occupier", it said in a statement on its website. Afrin has been a much more problematic Kurdish-controlled area for Washington, because it is a separate entity in western Syria.

"There is no way on earth there will not be initial tensions between Turkey and the United States if Turkey is to intervene against other areas without a willingness on the part of the U.S.to withdraw those forces, and Washington has given no indication whatsoever that it will do so".

Turkey accuses the YPG (People's Protection Units) of having links to the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) group within its own borders. The YPG forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

In a speech in Ankara on Thursday Yildirim again slammed the United States for backing the Syrian Kurdish militia force instead of standing by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Turkey's foreign minister told reporters Thursday that Erdogan had asked Trump to withdraw United States troops from Manbij.

The announcement was made in a statement in which the Turkish Armed Forces stressed that "Operation Olive Branch" is continuing successfully.

The officials added that Turkish-backed rebels in the area regularly fire on these patrols and USA forces occasionally return fire.

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Erdogan was accompanied by Turkey's chief of military staff, the defense minister and other top officers, the officials said.

Manbij military council leader Shervan Darwish told reporters that Kurdish fighters are being deployed to the front lines in anticipation. "We are not creating a border security force at all", Tillerson said. While they do not attack us, we do not need to consider them as our target.

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the advancing Turkish troops are facing stiff resistance in Afrin, while the SOHR reported Turkish airstrikes had been witnessed in almost 20 villages.

Three British men, as part of a unit of global volunteers with the Kurdish YPG (People's Protection Units), are travelling to the front line to defend Kurdish areas against advancing Turkish forces in northern Syria - the latest chapter in the complicated civil war. Kurdish officials placed the civilian death toll higher.

Answering Kurdish journalists who said Russian Federation has betrayed the PYD in the midst of Turkey carrying out military operations in Afrin, Zakharova noted that Russian Federation is not responsible for the operation being carried out by Turkey. He said Turkish troops have suffered seven or eight losses. Now that the fight against the IS is virtually over, or at least for now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is concerned that the YPG, with renewed battleground experience and weapons supplied by the West, could offer support to the PKK.

On Wednesday evening, rockets fired from Syria killed two people and wounded 11 more in the Turkish border province of Kilis.

It would not be correct to discuss establishing a "security zone" in coordination with the US before trust between Ankara and Washington is re-established, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on January 25. Erdogan said the operation would allow Syrian refugees to return home.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday that the fighting "disrupts what was a relatively stable area of Syria" and "distracts from the global efforts to ensure the defeat of ISIS", using another acronym for the extremist group. Tens of foreign fighters from the U.S., Britain and Germany are also in the country, fighting against the Turkish operation havingr previously helping the Kurds to defeat ISIS in northern Syria, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The American officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

IS has been driven from almost all the territory it once controlled in Syria, including its de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, but the extremist group has proven resilient after past defeats, and is still launching insurgent-style attacks. But, the accounts of what exactly took place in the conversation have been disputed with the Turkish side rejecting the White House's version. "The United States needs to review its soldiers and elements giving support to terrorists on the ground in a way to avoid a confrontation with Turkey".

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