m3n4.net February 17, 2019

Turkey's Syrian Offensive Risks Direct Confrontation with US

26 January 2018, 01:43 | Tara Lloyd

Ankara Believes Too Early to Discuss US Proposal on Security Zone in Syria REUTERS Khalil Ashawi

Turkish forces are seen near Mount Barsaya northeast of Afrin Syria January 22,2018

Asked by Kurdish journalists about the Turkish operation in Afrin, Zakharova said Russia's position in this regard is clear and accurate.

As the sixth day of Ankara's Operation Olive Branch in Syria is drawing to a close, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu answered some journalists' questions, revealing the country's stance on official Damascus as well as the current state of the US-Turkey row over Washington's support for the Syrian Kurds. "Of course, our coordination with the worldwide coalition continues with regards to the protection of Manbij", said Darwish.

The Turkish official sources said that President RecepTayyip Erdo─čan also told Trump that the U.S.' support to YPG terrorists must end as soon as possible, and Trump told that U.S.is now not supplying and will not supply any more weaponry to the YPG.

An unidentified senior USA official quoted by the AP said that Washington's "number one concern is the safety and security of troops in the vicinity". At this point, she said, she's not aware of any changes in the location of USA troops there.

A Kurdish official told dpa that U.S. soldiers remain inside Manbij.

Turkey has expressed displeasure over US policy in eastern Syria for the last two years, and in March 2017 the US had to send armored vehicles to warn off Ankara from attacking US SDF partners near Manbij in Syria.

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The official role of the American troops is to provide the Kurds with training and support against any possible ISIS resurgence, but they have also until now been seen to provide a buffer against Turkish aggression.

Abdul-Rahim, a Turkish backed FSA commander said Sunday that the convoys had "passed through regime territory".

"Up until now, (Syrian Kurdish) YPG forces have not allowed civilians to leave Afrin", he said.

Syrian Kurdish authorities have repeatedly called on the United States to swiftly enforce a no-fly zone to put an end to any further Turkish airstrikes.

"(But) in order for us to discuss the security zone or any other issue with the USA, we have to re-establish trust", Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters. Ankara has said the operation will be swift, but Mr Erdogan's spokesman signalled an open-ended cross-border campaign, saying it would end only when some 3.5 million Syrian refugees now living in Turkey could safely return home.

In 2016, Turkey launched a cross-border operation with Syrian opposition forces into Jarablus.

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Erdogan has previously said that it will "strangle" the border force "before it is born".

Washington relies on the YPG, the major force within the alliance of Syrian Democratic Forces, fighting against the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group in Syria.

Ankara considers the YPG to be an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

In Washington, the Pentagon said that it carefully tracked weapons provided to the YPG and would continue discussions with Turkey.

The two days of talks in the Austrian capital come after the eight previous rounds of negotiations in Geneva failed to bring the rival parties together at the same table. But he said the U.S.is watching that very closely and will try to prevent it. "Definitely I am optimistic because it is the only way to be at such moments", Staffan de Mistura said.

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