U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said Ankara's military incursion into northeastern Syria was damaging U.S.-Turkey relations, adding that the United States was not abandoning its Kurdish partners.
Top U.S. officials have spoken "with all of our counterparts, urged them to stop this incursion," U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters in a briefing citing the destabilizing effects it is having throughout the region.
"The dramatic harm I feel is being done to our bilateral relationship," Esper added.
He also said the U.S. was not abandoning its Kurdish partners.
"We have not abandoned the Kurds, let me be clear about that," U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters at the Pentagon.
"Nobody green-lighted this operation by Turkey, just the opposite.
We pushed back very hard at all levels for the Turks not to commence this operation," Esper said.
Turkey stepped up its air and artillery strikes on Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Friday, escalating an offensive that has drawn warnings of humanitarian catastrophe and turned Republican lawmakers against U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Kurdish YPG is the main fighting element of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which have acted as the principal allies of the United States in a campaign that recaptured territory held by the Islamic State group.
The SDF now holds most of the territory that once made up Islamic State's "caliphate" in Syria, and has been keeping thousands of Islamic State fighters in jail and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.
Esper said he had spoken with his Turkish counterpart about the harm the Turkish incursion was having on relations between the United States and Turkey, which are NATO allies.
[NFA] President Donald Trump will sharply reduce the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 4,500 to 2,500 by mid-January, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday, stopping short of a full withdrawal from America's longest war. Colette Luke has the latest.
Trump and Secretary Mark Esper had clashed in recent months, most notably over Trump's threat to use active duty troops to suppress street protests over racial injustice in the United States during the summer. This report produced by Jonah Green.
After the conclusion of 2+2 dialogue between India and US in New Delhi, the Spokesperson for US State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said the India-US relations go beyond political parties and that the bilateral cooperation between New Delhi and Washington DC will remain important irrespective of the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections. "It's incredibly important for Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Esper to go to India, and have this 2+2 (dialogue). Our relationship between the United States and India has been around for very long time and will be around for decades and much longer in the future. The relationship goes beyond political parties...We believe that the values that bind us together will be important for whoever wins this presidential election," Ortagus told ANI on October 28.
One of the highlights of the latest edition of the India-US 2+2 dialogue was the signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement. The pact, signed during the visit of US Secretaries of State and Defence - Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper - to meet their Indian counterparts - Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh - in Delhi, will provide Indian forces sensitive data from American military satellites. This is being pegged as a major boost for India amid the stand-off with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh. Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja (retd) and former Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal help decode the significance of this agreement in a conversation with Hindustan Times' Aditi Prasad. Watch the full video for more.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 09:01Published
A British-born woman who went to Syria as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State should not be allowed to return to Britain to challenge the government taking away her citizenship because she poses a security risk, the UK's top court heard on Monday. Olivia Chan reports.
Israel launched air raids against what it called a wide range of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria on Wednesday, sending a signal that it will pursue its policy of striking across the border despite U.S. President Donald Trump's election defeat. Soraya Ali reports.
Slights and barbs have marred relations between France’s Emmanuel Macron and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan for years, but the row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad has dragged them to a new low which could have more lasting consequences. Megan Revell reports.
An Istanbul court on Tuesday sentenced a local U.S. consulate employee to jail for aiding the network Ankara accuses of attempting a 2016 coup, in a verdict that could further strain ties between Turkey and the United States. Olivia Chan reports.
The Bishop of Dover has expressed her sadness over the loss of the Kurdish-Iranian family who died trying to cross the English Channel. Rose Hudson-Wilkin called for the UK and the rest of Europe to ensure safe passage and dignity for those seeking refuge.
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Trump Lifts Sanctions on Turkey. After lifting the sanctions imposed on the country following its military actions in Syria, President Trump declared a "big success.". Big success on the Turkey/Syria..