Turkey announces end to military operation in Syria
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 05, 2017,
Apr 05, 2017, 17:37
Tillerson said in Ankara that Turkey and the United States are negotiating, among other topics on Syria, different options for creating stabilization zones in the war-torn nation. The operation was aimed at clearing IS militants and Syrian Kurds from along the border between Syria and Turkey.
"Life is back to normal".
The news agency said that the attackers belonged to the "Ottoman Hearths", a pro-Erdogan street youth movement who have been responsible for similar violent incidents in Turkey.
Cavusoglu, standing alongside Tillerson, warned past U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish forces had already damaged America's relations with Turkey.
While Tillerson said he had discussed several strategies with Turkish leaders for the assault on Raqqa, clear differences still remain.
With Washington stepping up its military support of the YPG before the operation to liberate Raqqa, Syria, the self-declared IS capital, Ankara increasingly appears resigned to the fact that its call for its military forces to replace the Syrian Kurdish groups has been rejected.
U.S. -Turkish relations have also been strained by the continued presence in the United States of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Erdogan for a failed coup last July and whom Ankara wants extradited. Gulen denies involvement. The U.S. has said Turkey hasn't provided sufficient proof of his culpability.
Tillerson is speaking in Ankara after meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (MEHV'-loot chah-voo-SHOH'-loo). The US detention of a senior Turkish state bank executive this week has also raised tensions, with Cavusoglu describing it as "completely political". The country has NATO's second-largest military and hosts about 1,500 USA military personnel and aircraft - as well as troops from Italy, Spain and elsewhere - at Incirlik Air Base, a staging point for the fight against the Islamic State group.
He noted that Turkey's Incirlik air base has enabled the USA -led coalition to increase operations against ISIS by 25 percent without any additional aircraft.
While the Trump administration's policy on Syria's war between rebels and president Bashar Al Assad has been vague so far, Mr Tillerson said on Thursday that the fate of Mr Al Assad would "be decided by the Syrian people". The prime minister recently said he expects the current emergency to be extended for another three months before it expires on April 18.
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports Tillerson held a closed-door meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - and the two men had a lot to talk about.
But nothing incenses Turkey as much as the United States support for Syria's Kurds. Discussions are occurring about keeping the forces under Turkey's direction or transferring them to US leadership, Col. Ahmad Othman told The Associated Press.