Washington (AP) - US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has urgently warned Turkey against a unilateral military offensive in northern Syria.
Such an approach would be "unacceptable" and the US is ready to prevent a "one-sided invasion" that would endanger US allies in Syria, the minister said on a flight to Tokyo.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had once again threatened a military offensive. "It is our highest priority to dry out the terror swamp in northern Syria," he said. The process, which began with two previous Turkish offensives in northern Syria, will "very soon" move into a "new phase". An area on the Turkish border is controlled by the Kurdish militia YPG. Turkey has been calling for a buffer zone free of Kurdish militias for years, but has recently tightened its rhetoric.
The US considers the YPG as an ally against the terrorist militia Islamic State. Minister Esper said the talks between Washington and Ankara in this case continued. Efforts are being made to find a solution that could address Turkey's security concerns, Esper said.