World News

Turkey's Syrian Offensive Risks Direct Confrontation with US

Turkey's Syrian Offensive Risks Direct Confrontation with US

In a phone call with his Turkish counterpart on Wednesday, President Donald Trump warned Ankara against any move that could lead to a confrontation between us and Turkish forces, the AP said.

Erdogan and Trump have discussed Ankara's military operation on a phone talk.

Preventing Turkey from driving Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the U.S. -backed umbrella group dominated by the YPG, out of Manbij is a central goal for Washington, U.S. officials say.

Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.

Turkey said in an official statement that it had hit 108 Kurdish targets. "We kicked off the Astana process, and within its framework, we were able to set up de-escalation zones in four main conflict points", Yerhov said while speaking in a panel organized by TOBB University titled "Russian Foreign Policy and Contemporary Turkish-Russian relations".

Erdogan urged Trump to halt Washington's weapons support to the Kurdish militia, according to the White House.

As Turkey pushed ahead with its operation in Afrin, fears grew of an escalation in tension with the United States, despite both countries being North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

The U.S. should stop arming PYD/PKK terrorists to avoid any confrontation with Turkey, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Thursday.

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The German government has come under domestic pressure after battlefield images showed Turkey deploying German-made Leopard 2 tanks (pictured) in its offensive in northern Syria.

The source further said that US President Donald Trump never used the expression "destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey", but expressed discomfort about criticisms directed to his country.

The Turkish mission in Washington subsequently announced a similar move, with both sides saying they needed to reassess each other's commitment to the security of their personnel.

However, observers believe that the threat of military response by Syria was a message to the Kurdish fighters in Afrin that if the area was handed over to the Syrian government, the Syrian forces would respond to the Turkish attack as mentioned by Mekdad.

Instead, Erdogan has implied Syrian refugees might be re-settled in Afrin after the YPG is cleared from the area and Turkish media has said Afrin could be a six-month operation.

Ankara sees the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) insurgent group, which is deemed a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union and Turkey. However, White House claimed that Trump expressed the US "concern about "prolonged state of emergency in Turkey". Of course, our coordination with the worldwide coalition continues with regards to the protection of Manbij", said Darwish.

Ankara has been infuriated by US support for the YPG, which it sees as a domestic security threat, one of several issues that have brought relations between the United States and its Muslim NATO ally close to breaking point. The extremists have been driven from almost all the territory they once held in Syria and neighboring Iraq but have proved they can still carry out insurgent-style attacks.


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