Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Turkey 'Summons Top US Diplomat' Over Syria Kurd Forces

Turkey 'Summons Top US Diplomat' Over Syria Kurd Forces

In a rare experience USA diplomats go through in any host country, their Charge d;Affairs was summoned by Turkish foreign ministry in Ankara to express "discomfort" over Washington's support for Syrian Kurdish fighters on Wednesday.

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 past year in which the three countries announced a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib.

The People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, is seen by the U.S. as the most effective ground partner for the US-led coalition fighting ISIL in Syria.

Ankara says YPG fighters are linked to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) separatists inside Turkey, who have waged an armed campaign since 1984 that has killed more than 40,000 people.

Russia's relations with Turkey have suffered a blow due to the latest developments in Syria.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, January 10, 2018. The Russian General Staff has reportedly sent a note to the Turkish military command alleging the drone attack originated from territory in Idlib province controlled by the "moderate Syrian opposition".

Earlier Russia's Ambassador to Ankara Alexei Yerkhov and Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian Fard were summoned to the ministry for the same reason.

The recent military escalation in western Syria has included an unprecedented attack by a squadron of drones on Russian military bases and has cast a shadow over Moscow's efforts to convene a Syria peace congress later this month.

Rebels launched a counter-attack on Thursday.

Idlib was designated one of four "de-escalation" zones agreed under the Astana agreement struck between Russia, Iran and Turkey past year. "Careful operations should be carried out with intelligence from the ground or with technology".

Damascus has been scoring military successes against the rebel groups in the area thanks to Russian air support and active involvement of Iran-backed militias.

The YPG is supported by United States with arms and training which angers Turkey.

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