US dispatches two senior diplomats to Turkey amid Idlib clashes
The United States dispatched two senior diplomats for talks with Turkish officials and to pay a visit to the Turkish southern provinces of Hatay and Gaziantep on the Syrian border amid the ongoing conflict between Turkey and the Syrian regime over Idlib province.
The U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Kelly Craft and the State Department’s special representative for Syria James Jeffrey will arrive in Turkey late March 2 and will begin formal talks on March 3, private broadcaster NTV reported.
Jeffrey will hold talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal on March 3, while Craft will visit Hatay and Gaziantep. These two cities are on the Syrian border and host sizeable Syrian refugee communities.
Craft will meet Önal on March 4 in Ankara.
The visits come as Turkey seeks more concrete support from the U.S. in its efforts to stop the Syrian regime’s operations in Idlib that have led to a grave humanitarian tragedy. The U.S. has expressed its solidarity and support to Turkey after the regime killed 34 Turkish troops in an aerial attack.
Turkey has voiced its demand for the deployment of the Patriot air defense system to augment its aerial defense structure against the Syrian regime attacks.