Tuesday, February 7, 2023

US worried about Turkish offensive

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Attacks in Iraq and Syria

US worried about Turkish offensive

The US has expressed concern about a possible new ground offensive by Turkey in northern Syria.

Lloyd Austin (r), US Secretary of Defense, attends the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defense Ministers’ Meeting. Photo: Heng Sinith/AP/dpa

A new Turkish operation is firmly rejected, said US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in conversation with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, according to a Pentagon statement. Recent airstrikes there have already directly endangered the safety of US personnel. According to Ankara, Akar said in the conversation that the aim of the action was “terrorists”.

For almost two weeks, Turkey has been using airstrikes in northern Iraq and northern Syria against the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG and the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party PKK. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also threatened a ground offensive. Ankara blames the YPG and PKK for an attack in Istanbul in mid-November. Both groups had rejected this.

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