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Tillerson: US must find a way to work with Turkey amid Syria tensions

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul/Amman (dpa) - The United States needs to find a way to work "in the same direction" as its NATO ally Turkey, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday, amid tensions between the two countries over the war in Syria.

Tillerson is expected in Ankara on Thursday as part of a several-nation tour.

"Turkey is still an important NATO ally of the United States ... and we need to find a way to continue to work in the same direction," Tillerson said in Amman.

Washington and Ankara are at loggerheads over the war in Syria with an ongoing Turkish incursion against the US-backed Kurdish People‘s Protection Units (YPG) even risking an armed conflict between the two allies. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group.

The risk of armed conflict between Turkey and the US has grown since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the operation in Afrin will be expanded to Manbij, where the US has military personnel.

Turkey faces threats from "from areas out of Iraq, some areas out of Syria," Tillerson said on Wednesday, stressing the need for talks with Ankara.

He said the ultimate objective in Syria is defeating the Islamic State, de-escalation and moving the Geneva peace talks forward.

On Tuesday, Erdogan issued a sharp warning to US troops in Syria, vowing to "destroy terrorists who are right beside them." He would not mention the US specifically.

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier on Wednesday in Brussels that NATO expects Turkey to "respond in a proportionate and measured way," in reference to the Afrin operation.


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(23.02.2018 03:56)

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