US officials are becoming increasingly concerned that Turkey will conduct a major offensive into Syria and spark battles with Kurdish fighters, the Wall Street Journal reported.
On Thursday, the Turkish Defence Ministry said Ankara is committed to working with Washington to establish a safe zone to the east of the Euphrates River in Syria, but warned that it will end the bilateral partnership if Washington stalls on the issue.
Turkey said it seeks to fully end the presence of members of Daesh* as well as Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other Kurdish groups operating in the north of Syria.
Moreover, Turkey expects the United States to completely end its support for the Kurdish-led groups.
Relations between Washington and Ankara have been strained over US support for Syrian Kurdish fighters given that Turkey regards the Syrian Kurdish units as part of the separatist (PKK). Turkey has classified the PKK as a terrorist organization.
In August, Turkey and the United States reached an agreement on a safe zone along Syria’s border with Turkey.
The Syrian government opposes the plan, saying such a move is a violation of Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as of international law.