As the Turkish military is preparing for a large scale campaign to further invade Syrian territories that is currently under the control of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın spoke by phone on Monday to disuss issues including the situation in northeast Syria.
Since Turkey’s target in a possible incursion will be the Kurdish militia, or the People’s Defence Units (YPG), that constitute the major component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is an ally of the US in the international coalition’s operations against the Islamic State (ISIS), Sullivan was expected to convey Washington’s attitude to the Turkish presidency.
In seperate statements by the parties, however, there was no indication that any agreement was reached, and merely the distinct approaches of the two countries were expressed.
In a written statement by the White House, it was indicated that the crisis in Ukraine, accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO, the situation in Syria, and the disagreements in the eastern Mediterranean region were discussed.
It was stated that Sullivan “reiterated the importance of refraining from escalation in Syria to preserve existing ceasefire lines and avoid any further destabilization.”
The Turkish presidency, however, said in its statement:
“It was emphasised that PKK/PYD/YPG terror organisation continued to pose threat to Turkey’s national security and Syria’s integrity. It was underlined that Turkey will continue with its fight against all terror organisations with determination.” *
* Turkish authorities view YPG and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) as extensions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that the Turkish military has been conducting a war against for nearly 40 years.