Ankara, Beirut- Ankara announced that it had informed Washington and Moscow before launching strikes against Kurdistan Workers’ Party and People’s Protection Units in northern Iraq’s Mount Sinjar and areas in northeastern Syria.
Ankara criticized the visit of US officers to the sites of the strikes, reflecting tension between the two NATO allies that expressed contradictory stances on Kurds.
“Two hours before this operation, we shared information with the US and Russia that we would undertake an operation in the region, and warned the US to withdraw its soldiers in the region 20-30 kilometers away,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters on a trip to Uzbekistan.
For his part, Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omar Celik criticized the statement made by State Department spokesman Mark Toner who has expressed concern over the Turkish strikes, saying “these kinds of actions frankly harm the coalition’s efforts” against ISIS.
Celik said “what we should worry about is the visit of a US officer to a terrorist camp that was hit Tuesday morning.”
While stressing the importance of investigating the motives behind this visit, Celik outlined that the cooperation between US forces and Kurdish members in Syria is unacceptable to Turkey and might bring tension to Ankara-Washington ties.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the death toll from the Turkish raids in northestern Syria had reached 28.
On the Turkish-Syrian border, tension mounted in areas that fall under the control of Kurds in Afrin and other areas ruled by the Syrian regime.
ARA News said that the Turkish army along with opposition factions clashed with People’s Protection Units on Wednesday.