Erdogan Calls on Putin to End Northern Syria Attacks by Regime Forces
Jan 13 2018
Turkey's foreign ministry has summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to express Ankara's "discomfort" over Washington's support for Syrian Kurdish fighters, state media reported. They gave no details of Ankara's concerns.
However, Syrian regime forces, with Russian backing have stepped up attacks trying to regain control of the area controlled by the rebels.
Turkey is the biggest Muslim majority country in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and an important USA ally in the Middle East.
Turkey, which opposes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but has been working with his allies Iran and Russian Federation to reduce the fighting in Idlib, says the latest army assault could not have taken place without Tehran and Moscow's support.
Ankara believes YPG fighters are linked with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) separatists inside Turkey, responsible for waging armed campaign since 1984 causing death to more than 40,000 people.
Negotiations have stalled since 2016 amid European Union criticism of human rights violations in Turkey and Ankara's combative rhetoric aimed at some European Union member states, whom he compared to Nazi Germany.
The ministry has written to the chiefs of the Turkish army and intelligence service to insist that the terms of a cease-fire are upheld, the newspaper said.
The president noted that Turkey has the right and the necessary forces to expand military operations in Syria against YPG and PYD terrorist groups.
On Thursday, Moscow attempted to ease the strain with Ankara as President Vladimir Putin said the attack at Russian air base was a provocation, aimed at undermining Russia's relations with its partners, including Turkey.