February 19, 2018

Trump Sharply Warns Turkey Against Military Strikes in Syria

25 January 2018, 02:44 | Christie Tate

Pres. Trump Calls Turkey for Cooperation Amid Escalating Violence in Syria

Erdogan, Trump discuss Turkey's Syria op in phone call

However, Ankara's stated strategic goals for the operation codenamed Operation Olive Branch come with a great deal of bluster and little clarity.

Turkey has said the operation will be brief but so far the YPG has said that Turkish backed forces have not succeeded in taking any territory in Afrin.

The Turkish president urged the USA not to supply weapons to the Kurdish forces in Syria within the frames of the fight against terrorism.

The US and Turkey - NATO allies - have diverging interests in Syria, with Washington focused on defeating the ISIL and Ankara eager to prevent Syria's Kurds from gaining autonomy and increasing Kurdish unrest on its soil.

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.

"We're all ready to go and fight in Afrin against the invading force of Turkey", one fighter said in English, in a video released by the YPG on Wednesday.

A crisis between the US and Turkey, triggered by the latter's new military offensive in Syria, has laid bare how a dizzying array of alliances in Syria is growing even more convoluted in the absence of IS as a major force.

To judge from the White House account, it seems Erdogan was receptive, as "the two leaders pledged to improve the strategic partnership" between the USA and Turkey, "particularly in fostering regional stability and combating terrorism in all its forms, including [IS], the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), al-Qaeda, and Iranian-sponsored terrorism".

The Trump administration's messaging Tuesday highlighted Syria's combustible mix of conundrums for the United States.

Australia vs England 2018, 2nd ODI - Hits and misses
For the Gabba - Warner, Finch, Smith, Head, Marsh, Stoinis, Cameron White, Alex Carey , Starc, Tye, and Jhye Richardson . Just when Australia were sagging, he nabbed Hales and Bairstow in consecutive overs to tighten things up once more.

The comments, which were immediately disputed by Turkish officials, represent the clearest indication yet of the seriousness in which Washington views Turkey's military operations in northern Syria, and the potential risk they could pose to the stability of the region. "About 126,000 of them had already been displaced before this Turkish offensive and now face further upheaval".

A senior USA official says Washington is concerned that Turkey's military offensive in Afrin could distract from the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and could be exploited by extremists to re-supply or create safe havens.

The U.S. sees another threat in al-Qaida's potential resurgence. But Turkey has claimed it got the go-ahead for the campaign from Moscow.

"An immediate halt to all arms exports to Turkey is long overdue", Agnieszka Brugger, a lawmaker and defense expert for Germany's Green Party, told the Heilbronner Stimme newspaper.

Much of the tension that the Syrian crisis has recently added to Turkey-US relations derives from the reality that Ankara and Washington have different priorities and incompatible agendas in the war-torn country.

Turkish artillery fire pounded the Afrin region, state-run news agency Anadolu said. Turkey had said it will not accept YPG presence west of the Euphrates.

On Wednesday, Turkish and Kurdish representatives shared conflicting reports on casualties on the fifth day of the Afrin operation.

Erdogan said Turkish-led forces would extend the mission to Manbij, a city captured from IS in 2016 by Kurdish-led forces, backed by the United States.

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