Turkey calls on Pentagon to stop supporting YPG in Syria
Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Feb. 15 that he met his United States Secretary of Decense Jim Mattis on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels on Feb. 14 and called on the Pentagon to cut its support to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.
Meanwhile, the U.S. called on Turkey to remain focused on fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, according to a statement released by the Pentagon on Feb. 15.
“[Mattis] called for a renewed focus on the campaign to defeat ISIS, and to preventing any vestige of the terrorist organization from reconstituting in Syria,” the statement said.
The statement comes amid tension between Ankara and Washington over the situation in northern Syria, with Turkey angry about continued U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Canikli and Mattis were in Brussels to attend meetings of NATO Ministers of Defense. Earlier, Canikli also met his French counterpart Florence Parly in the city.
The meeting in Brussels lasted for 50 minutes at the NATO headquarters. No further details were provided by either side, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.