Mattis: Turkey has warned the United States before striking at Kurdish forces

Mattis: Turkey has warned the United States before striking at Kurdish forces

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Мэттис: Турция предупредила США перед нанесением удара по курдским формированиям

The Pentagon chief said that concern about Ankara’s security concerns is groundless

Turkey informed the United States before the strike is supported by the Washington Kurdish groups, said Pentagon chief James Mattis.

“Before you lift into the air planes, they warned us that they will do it,” Mattis told reporters aboard the plane heading to South East Asia.

We will remind that on Saturday, the Turkish troops began to strike from the air for Kurdish forces controlled the city of Afrin in Northern Syria trying to oust from the region the Kurdish people’s defence.

According to Mattis, a warning by Turkey was made during a telephone conversation between senior representatives of the Turkish and American armed forces. He said, however, advised the American Turkish military not to take the planned action.

“We monitor this carefully. Involved (people) at a very high level… and we’re working on it. We are working on this problem”, – said the head of the Pentagon.

Kurdish is a key US partner in the fight against “Islamic state” constitutes a substantial part of Syrian democratic forces.

However, Turkey considers these forces as a terrorist group, associated with the Kurdish separatists operating on Turkish territory.

“They have proved their efficiency, – said Mattis. – It cost them losses in the region of thousands of people, but… with the support of the coalition, they defeated the “Caliphate” of ISIS in Syria, and it is a question of arithmetic”.

The Pentagon chief acknowledged, however, that success in the fight against ISIS has not contributed to the disappearance of many moments of concern from Turkey. He added that it is easy to understand, Ankara fears that the conflict will spread beyond Syria.

“Turkey is our NATO ally. It is the only NATO country where the insurgents are active. And concerns Turkey’s security concerns legitimate,” said Mattis.