Israel asked US to press Turkey against a Syria incursion
Israel asked Joe Biden administration to press Turkey for not launching a new offensive into northern Syria, US-based Axios news website reported on Wednesday.
Israel’s National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata told his US counterpart Jake Sullivan that a new Turkish incursion would dramatically harm the Kurds in northern Syria and could benefit Iran in the long run, the news website said, citing two Israeli officials without revealing their names.
Turkey which has carried out three military operations into northern Syria since 2016, said in May that it may begin another offensive into the region to combat Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed militant group that Ankara sees as an offshoot of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The YPG is allied with the West in a fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
In response to Turkish plans, the United States said a new offensive would further undermine regional stability and put US forces at risk in its campaign against ISIS. “We condemn any escalation. We support maintenance of the current cease-fire lines," US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
The message was conveyed to the Biden administration by several other Israeli officials, Axios said, adding that the Israeli Prime Minister’s office declined to comment over the issue.
Israel sees the Syrian Kurds as allies against growing Iranian influence in Syria, the news website said.
Israel and Turkey have recently been making an effort to mend their relations that have been fractured for more than a decade.