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Turkey summons United States diplomat for supporting Syrian Kurd group

12 January 2018

Both the USA and Turkish interventions in Syria, however, have been dwarfed by that of Assad supporters Russian Federation and Iran.

Turkey's foreign ministry has summoned a senior U.S. diplomat to express Ankara's "discomfort" over Washington's support for Syrian Kurdish fighters, state media reported.

The de-escalation zones were set up last September in an effort to scale back the conflict.

Turkey and the United States have been at loggerheads over Washington's policy of support for the YPG, which Ankara views as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged an insurgency in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast for more than three decades.

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

On January 9, the Russian and Iranian ambassadors were reportedly called to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara to receive a protest note.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had warned Russian Federation and Iran to adhere to their joint accord signed with Turkey a year ago for announcing "de-escalation zone" in Syrian town Idlib.

On Tuesday, Turkey gathered Russian Federation and Iran's ambassadors to air its displeasure, saying the offensive must be called off immediately. Erdoğan has threatened to expand the Turkish military operation in northern Syria ("Euphrates Shield") by taking over YPG-controlled Manbij and the Afrin enclave in Idlib province.

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, January 10, 2018. In the attack, the rebels apparently struck an officially undisclosed number of aircraft sitting on the tarmac, killing two helicopter pilots and wounding several more service personnel.

The three countries had agreed previous year to establish a "de-escalation zone" in the opposition-held Idlib province and surrounding region, which borders Turkey.

The home-made drones reportedly had Global Positioning System homing devices and altitude-meters to guide them to the Russian bases.

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. Turkey entered the war in Syria on the U.S.'s side, but has grown increasingly distant over USA support for Kurdish militants.

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Turkey summons United States diplomat for supporting Syrian Kurd group