Turkey uneasy about US plan for observation posts on Syria border-

ISTANBUL— Turkey is uneasy about US plans to set up "observation posts" in Syria along parts of its border with Turkey, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday.


US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday the United States was setting up the posts to help keep the focus on clearing the final Islamic State militant strongholds in Syria.


The United States has long complained that tension between Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - which includes the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - has at times slowed progress on the fight against Islamic State.


Akar said he told US Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford and other US officials during a recent visit to Canada that setting up the posts would have a very negative impact on perceptions of the United States in Turkey.


"During our talks with both political and civilian interlocutors we repeatedly expressed our unease in various ways," he said. "I think actions like this will make the complicated situation in the region even more complicated".


Turkey is angry at US support for the YPG, which it views as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) waging a decades-long insurgency on Turkish soil. The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.



פרסום ראשון: 11.24.18, 14:36