Turkey Issues Ultimatum to Washington Ahead of Tillerson Visit

Tillerson's Turkey visit Will it help mend ties

US Secretary of State Tillerson is expected to visit Turkey on Thursday and Friday, where USA officials predicted he will have hard conversations.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson faces perhaps the most hard stop of his Mideast trip in Turkey, where President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has doubled down on anti-American rhetoric by appearing to threaten USA troops in Syria.

The street in Ankara where the American embassy is located will be renamed after Turkey's operation against a Kurdish militia in Syria that has sparked concern in Washington, the mayor of the Turkish capital said today.

That incursion has created an unprecedented military faceoff between the two largest armies in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with US forces fighting alongside the YPG while Turkey attacks it. But analysts note the Trump administration still has not appointed an ambassador to Ankara and is showing no sign of yielding to Turkish demands relating to American backing of the Kurds.

Turkey 's operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia in the Afrin region of Syria has added a potentially insurmountable new problem to an increasingly rough bilateral relationship.

It launched a new air and ground operation to oust Kurdish militia in northwest Syria, defying U.S. warnings it risked destabilising the area.

"The two sides are at a strategic impasse", Mr. Stein said in an interview Wednesday. Both agencies failed miserably as the ostensible guerrillas accepted USA arms and promptly handed them over to terrorist groups fighting in Syria.

Tillerson is expected to visit Turkey on Thursday. The US financially supports Kurdish militias that Turkey considers to be risky terrorist organizations that threaten stability in Turkey.

The US has long supported the SDF as a "reliable ally" in its fight against ISIL, despite strong objections by Ankara, which sees the YPG, leading the coalition, as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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Turkey is wary of the presence of Kurdish militants close to its borders in Syria, and has been opposed to Washington's efforts to train and arm them in the Arab country.

The State Department said it is deeply troubled by those cases and urged the Turkish government to "end the protracted state of emergency, to release those detained arbitrarily under emergency authorities, and to safeguard the rule of law consistent with Turkey's own domestic and worldwide obligations and commitments".

"I think in terms of this observation that the US has little leverage or role to play is simply false", Tillerson said at a briefing Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.

That was an apparent reference to comments made by U.S. Lieutenant General Paul Funk during a visit to Manbij.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Nauert told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that "as amusing as the comment was", she has a policy of not responding to every quip by every foreign leader.

The Turkish government could retaliate by imposing greater costs on the USA military for choosing to work with the YPG, Wilson said, including limited access to its Incirlik air base, which has made operations for the coalition against ISIS cheaper and easier.

The United States denies those connections and sees the YPG as a key ally in the battle against Islamic State militants.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Istanbul this week that U.S. "The reason for that missing trust is the US", Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the Hurriyet Daily News.

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