News ID: 113132
Publish Date : 06 March 2023 - 21:56

Turkey Summons U.S. Envoy Over Top General’s Visit to Kurdish-Held Syria

ANKARA (Xinhua) – Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the U.S. ambassador to Ankara for the visit of a top U.S. commander to a Kurdish-held area in northeastern Syria, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.
Ankara “asked for an explanation” regarding the visit of Mark Milley, U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to northeastern Syria on March 4, the agency quoted anonymous Turkish diplomatic sources as saying.
Milley met U.S. troops stationed there under the control of the Kurdish-led so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the so-called Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Tensions between Ankara and Washington have long simmered over the U.S. backing of the YPG in northern Syria. The Kurdish militants cooperated with Washington in operations against Daesh, but Ankara has long been asking the U.S. to cease its partnership with the YPG.
Ankara sees the Kurdish group as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for over three decades.
Damascus also condemned a recent visit by Milley to northeast Syria, saying the move is “illegal” and a “flagrant violation” of the country’s sovereignty.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry made the remarks in a statement, saying “Syria strongly condemns this flagrant violation by the US military official of the sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The ministry called on Washington to immediately stop its systematic and continuous violations of international law as well as its support for militant groups in Syria.
The ministry said such practices will not make Damascus stop its fight against terrorism and it will remain steadfast in protecting its sovereignty, security and stability.