Turkey’s top diplomat warned on Wednesday that a U.S.-led plan to establish a Kurdish-dominated border force in northern Syria along the Turkish border would inflict irreparable damage to the ties between two countries.
As Turkey drifts toward to an impending military offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish militia in Afrin, Ankara repeatedly warns for inescapable fallout for the Turkish-U.S. ties.
On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson in Canada to discuss the potential repercussions of a Turkish assault in northern Syria and implications of U.S. border force.
The formation of the border force, Mr. Cavusoglu emphasized, “could seriously threaten our relations and we may enter an irreversible course.”
His remarks came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged the U.S. with forming “a terror of army” on Turkey’s border. Undesired and unexpected ramifications loom large ahead of Turkey’s approaching military endeavor.
The president, fully aware of the risk of accidental incidents, warned of potential losses of U.S. troops along with “terrorists.”
“Remove flags and insignia [of your personnel those who are] with [YPG] militants on the ground. So we would not need to bury them along with the terrorist dead,” the president said at a party gathering on Monday in its most blunt warnings against the U.S.
On Tuesday, President Erdogan held a phone conversation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. He said Turkey would take all necessary measures to ensure its national security.
The latest controversy erupted after a report by The Defense Post confirmed the coalition plan to build a 30,000-strong force to protect Syria’s borders with Iraq and Turkey. At least half of the border force will be constituted by veteran fighters of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by Kurdish militants linked with Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Both Turkey and the U.S. listed PKK as a terrorist organization, which has waged a bloody fight against the Turkish state for more than three decades to carve up an autonomous region in southeastern Turkey.