Turkey Says White House Is Lying About Trump's Call With Erdogan
Jan 26, 2018, 01:44
The total death toll - including Turkish-backed and Kurdish fighters - had risen to 125, it said, as the offensive reached its fifth day.
Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that he had discussed developments in the region with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.
Two US defense officials told CNN last week that the US military continues to carry out overt patrols in the Manbij area, with the primary mission of deterring conflict.
Differences over Syria policy have already strained Turkey's relations with Washington nearly to a breaking point.
"Yes, Turkey is a hard partner However, despite the difficulties, Russian Federation is constantly discussing the Kurdish problem with Turkey, and does its utmost to have Kurdish political forces involved in the settlement of the Syrian conflict", she said.
The official USA presence in Syria numbers around 5,000.
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.
President Donald Trump plans to raise the USA concerns over the Turkish offensive in a telephone call with Erdogan expected on Wednesday, a senior US official said. Tens of foreign fighters from the U.S., Britain and Germany are also in the country, fighting against the Turkish operation havingr previously helping the Kurds to defeat ISIS in northern Syria, Reutersreported on Thursday.
Dana White, chief spokeswoman for the Pentagon, said she is aware of news reports that Turkey has asked the US military to leave Manbij, but is not aware of any direct conversations about it.
"We are in full readiness to respond to any attack (by Turkey and its allies)", he said.
Operation Olive Branch was launched on January 20.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, has put the civilian death toll at 30 or more.
Turkey said three of its soldiers had been killed.
Sinam Mohamed, chief envoy of the "Rojava self-ruled Democratic Administration" which runs several cantons in the Kurdish-majority north of Syria, said she fears for her family in Afrin. The proposed border force tells quite much regarding the way in which the Pentagon intends to move about indicating its support to the Kurdish proxies and that is in the long-term in Syria.
In a sign of deteriorating relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that the official US summary "differ (ed) from the truth discussed between the Turkish and US Presidents' phone conversation".
"Regarding our position on an invitation - if it happens - we will not attend the congress in the light of this barbaric, occupation aggression on Afrin", Jia Kurd said.
Turkey now says it wants to establish a 30km "safe zone" in Afrin to prevent a "Kurdish corridor" from being established along its border.
Now, as that campaign winds down, USA officials worry the days-old Turkish offensive will lead to another uncontrollable surge of violence and complicate a settlement of the war.
He accused Turkey of waging an offensive aimed "against the Kurdish people". Besides, the YGP has enormous local support in Kurdish towns along the border.
In a speech in Ankara on Thursday Yildirim again slammed the United States for backing the Syrian Kurdish militia force instead of standing by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.
Meanwhile, Erdogan has vowed to extend the military operation to Manbij, a separate Kurdish-held enclave 100 km (60 miles) east of Afrin, possibly putting U.S. forces supporting the Kurds against the Islamic State group at risk. It was on Monday when he lashed out vowing to "drown" the force as he asserted that the U.S needed to respect Turkey.
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