Turkish army, FSA liberate 2 more villages in Afrin

UN report on Afrin contradicted by facts on ground

There is a famous Turkish proverb that says, "An old friend can not become an enemy", and it is of no interest to either side to turn their alliance into enmity while the region poses several challenges.

Relations have recently neared a breaking point over us support for the YPG militia, seen as terrorists by Turkey.

But neither Cavusoglu nor Tillerson provided details about the plan. "We have to think about all of northern Syria", Tillerson said.

"If the meeting is not conducted in English, it is foolhardy in the extreme not to have at his side a State Department translator, who can ensure that Mr. Tillerson's points are delivered accurately and with the proper emphasis", said former State Department spokesman and CNN diplomatic and military analyst John Kirby. Yet, Washington falls on deaf ears on Turkey's concerns. Turkey's defense minister was among those he met at North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"I believe we are finding common ground and there are areas of uncommon ground where sometimes war just gives you bad alternatives to choose from", Mattis said following the meeting.

"We affirm that the Syrian Arab Army defends every inch of the Syrian territory and Syria will return as unified as it has been throughout history", he added, with respect to Afrin.

He called "for a renewed focus on the campaign to defeat ISIS, and to preventing any vestige of the terrorist organisation from reconstituting in Syria", the Pentagon said in a statement Thursday, referring to the Islamic State group.

She said the U.S. finds itself in "a tough position" because of Turkey's objections against USA support for the Kurdish YPG who it has armed in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. And latter has made United States nervous, whose military have recognized that its YPG allies have begun to abandon positions in eastern Syria, where fought against Islamic State, to help ir comrades to hold front of Afrin. A new working group to tackle US-Turkish differences is supposed to hold its first meeting by mid-March.

"We demanded this structure be removed from SDF", he said.

Syrian Kurdish forces and a monitoring group said the Turkish military carried out a suspected gas attack that wounded six people in Syria's Afrin region on Friday. Canikli said he rejected this assumption, insisting it was "impossible and unrealistic" for the two entities to go against each other.

Nauert also noted that, despite tensions surrounding the Turkish military's presence in Syrian Kurdistan, Erdoğan has not indicated that his government is leaning towards cutting ties to the United States or denying American troops access to the Incirlik airbase.

Turkey has been attacking the Kurds in northern Syria for the past three weeks despite American calls for restraint.

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