WASHINGTON, (BM) – The United States has warned that any Turkish operation in northern Syria would be “unacceptable” and vowed to step up talks to prevent unilateral incursions, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, quoting Al Jazeera.
On Sunday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey, which already has a foothold in northwest Syria, will carry out a military operation in a Kurdish-controlled area east of the Euphrates in northern Syria against the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that Ankara views as a terrorist group.
“Clearly we believe any unilateral action by them [Turkey] would be unacceptable,” US defence secretary Mark Esper told reporters in Tokyo on a trip through Asia on Tuesday.
“And so what we are trying to do now is work out with them an arrangement to address their concerns and I’m hopeful we’ll get there,” said Esper.
“What we’re going to do is prevent unilateral incursions that would upset, again, these mutual interests … the United States, Turkey and the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] share with regard to northern Syria,” the new Pentagon chief added.
Erdogan has threatened an imminent attack in the northeast and he renewed that pledge on Tuesday.
“Turkey has the right to eliminate all threats against its national security… God willing, we will carry the process started with [previous offensives into Syria] to the next stage very soon,” he said in a televised speech in Ankara.
With US backing, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the YPG, have taken control of much of northeastern Syria from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) over the last four years.
Esper suggested that a Turkish operation into northern Syria could affect the SDF’s focus on ensuring ISIL did not retake the territory it once held in Syria and the ability of the US-backed forces to hold the thousands of alleged ISIL fighters in detention.
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Source: Al Jazeera