The United States should “stop supporting terrorists” if it wants to avoid a possible confrontation with Turkey in Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Jan. 25.
“Those who support the terrorist organization will become a target in this battle,” Bozdağ told private broadcaster A Haber in an interview.
“The U.S. needs to review its solders and elements that support terrorists on the ground in a way to avoid a confrontation with Turkey,” said the deputy prime minister.
Tillerson said the U.S. recognizes Ankara’s “legitimate right” to defend itself from terrorists, suggesting that a security zone could help stabilize the situation and meet Turkey’s security concerns.
It would not be correct to discuss establishing a “security zone” in coordination with the U.S. before trust between Ankara and Washington is re-established, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Jan. 25.
Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” on Jan. 20 to remove Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from the Syrian district of Afrin.