ERBIL – Washington has warned Ankara of any unilateral military actions against the US Kurdish allies in Syria, saying that Turkey would have “devastating” consequences if it does so.
The comments were made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Melvut Cavusoglu in Washington, DC where they discussed issues related to the F-35 program as relations between the sides in this regard have deteriorated due to Ankara’s determination on purchasing Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, according to reports.
“Secretary Pompeo expressed support for ongoing negotiations regarding northeast Syria, while warning of the potentially devastating consequences of unilateral Turkish military action in the region,” said US State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino in a statement following the talks, as quoted by Sputnik.
Turkey has repeatedly threatened to attack the Syrian Kurdish forces, viewing them as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group recognized as a “terrorist organization” by Ankara.
The two NATO allies, however, have already begun a war of words because of certain disputes, each side warning the other of ending the friendship.
“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?” US Vice President Mike Pence said at a NATO event in Washington on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.
His remarks were reacted by the Turkish counterpart Fuat Oktay only a few hours later.
“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?,” he said, according to state-run media Anadolu Agency.