Turkey conveys ‘discomfort’ to planned US observation points in Syria
Turkey has repeatedly conveyed its “discomfort” to the U.S. officials over their planned observation points in northern Syria, Turkish defense minister said on Nov. 24.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency following a ceremony to mark Turkey’s Teachers Day, Hulusi Akar said he spoke with Gen. Joseph Dunford, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Nov. 18 during the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada about the planned U.S. observation points on the Syrian border.
“We have stated that the observation points to be established by the U.S. troops on the Syrian border will have a very negative impact […] and in the course of our discussions we expressed that it could lead to a perception that ‘U.S. soldiers are somehow protecting terrorist YPG members and shield them’,” he added.
Akar said that these practices would make the already complex situation in the region “much more complex” and added that there is no need for that.
The defense minister said the Turkish Armed Forces are taking all necessary measures to protect the country from all kind of threats, including from beyond the borders.
“We expect that our U.S. allies cut their relations with the terrorist YPG, who are no different from the PKK, as soon as possible,” he added.
The United States has long been complained that tensions between Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the YPG militants, have at times slowed down progress on fighting the ISIL.
Turkey deems the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK, which is listed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.