Turkey 'Summons Top US Diplomat' Over Syria Kurd Forces


Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said they previously stated that Turkey will not participate in this event which is attended by the Kurdish YPG considered as terrorist group by Turkey.

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

According to Aljazeera network, the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), is seen by Washington as the most effective ground partner for the US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Syria. In 2017, to prevent Turkish-backed forces from overtaking Manbij, the USA 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.

Turkey on Tuesday called the Russian and Iranian ambassadors to its ministry of foreign affairs to ask the envoys to urge the Syrian government in Damascus to end the border violations in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

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Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had warned Russian Federation and Iran they should adhere to the joint accord they signed with Turkey a year ago in which the three countries announced a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib.

Lavrov noted that Moscow and Tehran have reached an important stage in preparation for implementing the initiative launched by Russia, Iran and Turkey to organize the Sochi Congress. Now, the Turkish military and allied forces may go for Afrin with Russia's tacit consent (RIA Novosti, January 11, 2018). "It looks like the Idlib de-escalation is falling apart", Stein observed.

Humanitarian aid organisations, rescuers and activists allege the Syrian and Russian air forces have struck hospitals, schools and marketplaces in congested residential areas in rebel-held towns. A Syrian military source denied this and dismissed rebel talk of a counter attack as propaganda. A US B-8 Poseidon naval recon/antisubmarine jet was allegedly witnessed flying over the Mediterranean, not far from Hmeymim and Tartus, during the unsuccessful drone attack.

Turkey-US relations strained over the latter's support for the PKK/PYD terror group's presence and arming of the group in the region.

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