United States says no military support for Kurdish YPG in Afrin

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"No, it did not", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN-Turk television in an interview.

One of the starkest illustrations of the risks of the entanglement is unfolding now, as Turkey escalates threats to attack the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria.

On Monday, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country is ready "at any moment" to start an operation in the besieged border area of Syria.

"We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the United States is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally", Pahon said.

"It was emphasised that we are ready, immediately and decisively, to take the steps needed to eliminate the threats... coming from the west of Syria", it added. He warned USA troops against coming between Turkish troops and the Kurdish forces in Syria that Ankara views as an extension of Turkey's own Kurdish insurgency.

The Turkish government has led the charge because it views the Syrian Kurds who form the backbone of the Syrian Defence Forces as terrorists, and an extension of the Kurdish insurgency raging in Turkey's southeast. And while they no longer maintain a hold on urban centers, pockets of Islamic State fighters remain along the Euphrates River Valley, near the border of Iraq and Syria, as well as in desert stretches of both countries. Russia, Iran, Turkey and the government in Damascus have all demonstrated that they are more invested, militarily and politically, to shaping the outcome in Syria than is the United States.

"In all our talks with USA officials there was common ground, and on top of the matters discussed was the war on terrorism, (and) expelling Hezbollah and Iranian militias from Syria", Sejari said.

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A central pillar to Tillerson's plan, delivered in a speech at Stanford University, is a UN-supervised election that Tillerson predicted would result in new leadership. "Turkey's security concerns are legitimate", it said.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has joined Russia, Syria, and Turkey in opposing a new 30,000-strong border guard force inside Syria that the United States says is needed to keep Islamic State extremists out of the country. "We need the global community's help to put pressure on the regime and their backers, Russian Federation and Iran".

Turkey's leader reacted angrily this week after the USA revealed it was working to create a 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria led by the Kurdish-Arab Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Erdogan said the imminent military operation is to "purge terror" from near its borders.

"Continued strategic threats to the USA from not just ISIS and al Qaeda persist, and this threat I am referring to principally is Iran", Tillerson said, adding, "In short, Syria remains a source of severe strategic threats".

Over the long term, the United States and its allies must participate in "stabilization initiatives" across Syria such as de-mining and establishing stable electricity, safe drinking water and other elements of a functioning state, which would be State Department and USAID initiatives backed up by the USA military presence, Tillerson said. "We are not involved with them at all".