Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:06 WIB | POLITICS |Global
The United States is expressing concern about Turkey™s offensive in northern Syria and top officials are appealing for restraint and fears that the conflict could spread.
At Monday™s White House briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the U.S. understands Turkey™s œlegitimate security concerns and is œcommitted to working with Turkey as a NATO ally.
œIncreased violence in Afrin disrupts a relatively stable area of Syria," she said. "It distracts from international efforts to ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS, it could be exploited by ISIS and al-Qaida for resupply and safe haven, and it risks exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.
Sanders also urged Turkey œto exercise restraint in its military actions and rhetoric, ensure that its operations are limited in scope and duration, ensure humanitarian aid continues, and avoid civilian casualties. We want to ensure that Assad's brutal regime cannot return to Afrin, and we will continue working diplomatically to end the Syrian civil war.
While Washington wants to preserve its relationship with Turkey. it also has ties to Kurdish and other forces forces targeted by Turkey.
In a London press conference Monday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said œThe U.S. is in Syria to defeat ISIS (the so-called Islamic State), and we™ve done that with a coalition of partners, and the Syrian Democratic Forces in particular, which are comprised of Kurdish and Arab, but also elements of Christian forces. It is truly a multiethnic group of fighters who are defending their home territory. And so we are concerned about the Turkish incident in northern Syria."
Later, Tillerson downplayed concerns about rising tensions between Turkey and the United States. œI don't think you™re going to find two NATO allies facing off at all, he said. ‹Tillerson said Turkey is worried about œterrorists crossing the border into Turkey and carrying out attacks and we appreciate their right to defend themselves, but this is a tough situation where there are a lot of civilians mixed in. So we™ve asked them to just, try to be precise, try to limit your operation, try to show some restraint.
Source : VOA