Turkey’s Defense Minister continues diplomacy over attacks in Northern Syria
Turkish Defense Minister Hulus Akar stepped up efforts in diplomacy to explain Turkey’s latest airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Northern Syria after world powers urged restraint and demanded the prevention of civilian losses
Us Ambassador to Turkey Jeffrey Flake visited Akar on Thursday after Pentagon announced that US troops in Syria have been at risk by the Turkish airstrikes.
The meeting between Akar and Flake took place closed to the press and no further information was released afterwards.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon's spokesman, Air Force Brigadier General Pat Ryder said that “recent air strikes in Syria directly threatened the safety of U.S. personnel who are working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS” in a statement.
Akar also made a phone call with his Russian counterpart on Thursday and told him that Ankara would continue responding to attacks from northern Syria, after Russia asked Turkey to refrain from a full-scale Syria offensive.
Akar told Sergei Shoigu that "Turkey's priority is to prevent the terrorism threat (from northern Syria) permanently," and said previous agreements on this issue need to be adhered to, the Turkish Defence Ministry said in a statement.
Senior Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev on Wednesday said Turkey should refrain from a full-scale ground offensive in Syria, because such actions could trigger an escalation of violence.