Tabnak – One week after the start of Turkish military operation in northern Syria, the move is still creating potentials for new conflicts among various parties involved in the war-torn country. Ankara’s warning to Washington to stay away from Manbij could be seen in the same vein.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says US military forces need to immediately withdraw from Syria's northern region of Manbij as Turkish troops are engaged in an operation in the Arab country’s Afrin region against militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Speaking to reporters in the capital Ankara on Saturday, Cavusoglu said Turkey wanted to see concrete steps by the United States to end its support for the Syrian Kurdish force.
The remarks came hours after the Turkish presidency announced in a statement that Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster had discussed Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern Afrin region during a telephone conversation the previous night.
In this vein, Hurriyet newspaper reports that Turkey and the United States have agreed to work on de-escalating tension between the two sides over the latter’s support to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.
“We may have a difference of opinion on some issues, but we are allied countries,” H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor to US President Donald Trump, told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief foreign policy advisor and spokesman İbrahim Kalın during the phone conversation.
Reuters notes in a separate report that since the start of the eight-day-old incursion, dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” by Ankara, Erdogan has said Turkish forces would push east toward the town of Manbij, potentially putting them in confrontation with US troops deployed there.
The agreement with the US however, is likely to be seen by Ankara as a substantial diplomatic victory from the incursion, where Turkish troops and their Syrian rebel allies appear to have made modest advances, as heavy rain and poor weather have hampered air strikes and progress on the ground.
Turkey considers YPG, the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey. Ankara says pushing Syrian Kurdish fighters away from northern Syria is essential for Turkey's national security.
Turkey first deployed forces in northern Syria in 2016 to repel the YPG under the banner of Operation Euphrates Shield, pressuring Washington to stop its provision of arms, training, and air support to the militants, who were fighting ISIS at the time.
Turkey has warned Washington that there could be a confrontation between Turkish and American troops in northern Syria if Washington did not halt the arms transfer to the Kurds.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.