Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Turkey summons U.S. diplomat over Syria Kurd militia

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Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 05:09

Turkish diplomatic sources say that Ankara has voiced to the ambassadors its "concern" about the operation which is conducted by the Syrian government forces in the south-east of idlib.

Relations between Washington and Ankara have been tense over multiple issues including a USA decision a year ago to deliver weapons to the YPG.

Turkey and the United States have been at loggerheads over Washington's policy of support for the YPG, which Ankara views as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged an insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast for more than three decades.

Turkey on Wednesday called on Russian Federation and Iran, the two chief allies of President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria, to halt an air offensive on the rebel-held Idlib province near the Turkish border.

Violence in Idlib region has recently escalated, with Syrian government forces, supported by Russian Federation, trying to regain control of the rebel-held area. "If you are guarantors, which you are, stop the regime".

The official also pointed at the fact that fresh conflict in northern Syria could trigger more displacement on its southern border.

Damascus has been scoring military successes against the rebel groups in the area thanks to Russian air support and active involvement of Iran-backed militias.

Syrian state media, citing a foreign ministry source, said on Thursday that regime forces were fighting to "liberate from the terrorism of the Nusra Front and the other terrorist organisations that belong to it".

Police arrested 29 people across Turkey on Wednesday for suspected links with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, according to a security official.

Russia's relations with Turkey have suffered a blow due to the latest developments in Syria.

Recalling that Ankara was not able to build dialogue with the US because of Washington's support to Syrian Kurdish militia, Turkey's leverage in Syria would weaken if it also looses cooperation with Russian Federation, he said.