Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Turkish army liquidates more than 1300 terrorists during operation in Syria's Afrin

Turkish army liquidates more than 1300 terrorists during operation in Syria's Afrin

"Ties with the United States have been at a very critical point", he added.

While the USA has worked to strengthen the Syrian Kurdish force, called the YPG, to help combat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS), Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization within its borders.

"It is natural that we lost our trust in the U.S.", Cavusoglu said, stressing that Ankara does not want to hear any more empty promises from its ally but rather wants to see concrete steps.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has acknowledged that some members of the PYD/PKK-led SDF had shifted to Afrin, Syria amid Turkey's ongoing operation against the groups in the border region, according to Anadolu news agency. His trip expected to be dominated by the Syrian file and US-Turkish disagreements over Washington's military support of the Kurdish units battling Turkey in northern Syria.

Harlem Dessir, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation ( OSCE ) Representative on Freedom of the Media, denounced the detention of hundreds of people in Turkey over their public criticism of the operation.

The operation has been conducted jointly with the Free Syrian Army forces.

Speaking to the press in Istanbul following a meeting with African leaders, he said Washington had made several mistakes in handling its relationship with Ankara, including giving support to the Kurdish militia in Syria known as the People's Protection Units (YPG).

Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.

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