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etvfutures.com January 19, 2018


Turkey summons top U.S. envoy over Syrian Kurds

12 January 2018, 09:57 | Opal Carroll

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned Moscow and Tehran that they must fulfill their duties under the de-escalation zone accord struck with Ankara previous year.

Kosnett is the most senior USA diplomat in Ankara after the departure Ambassador John Bass in late 2017. No replacement has been named yet.

Six people surrendered to police on Thursday over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the leading Kurdish party in northern Syria, where the majority of the country's Kurdish population was concentrated.

Wednesday's move was not the first time Turkey has announced its displeasure with the U.S. about the issue. In 2017, to prevent Turkish-backed forces from overtaking Manbij, the United States deployed its Special Forces in town, while a small Russian Special Operations team appeared in Afrin, apparently for the same reason-to keep the Turks at bay.

Ankara has therefore called on Russian Federation and Iran, and rightly so, to cease and desist from their active and open aggression and military involvement in the fighting in the Idlib province and summoned their ambassadors in Ankara for this objective.

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In October, the YPG and their allies announced the capture of ISIL's self-declared capital of Raqqa in Syria after a four-month operation. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told journalists, "Russia and Iran must fulfill their obligations and stop the pro-Assad offensive in Idlib province".

However, Syrian regime forces, with Russian backing have stepped up attacks trying to regain control of the area controlled by the rebels.

Turkey has been fiercely opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during his country's six-year-old civil war but has recently been working with his allies Russian Federation and Iran for a political resolution to the conflict.

Idlib was designated one of four "de-escalation" zones agreed under the Astana agreement struck between Russia, Iran and Turkey a year ago.

However, as the fighting continues, tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing the area, which is home to about two million people.



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