ANKARA, November 25. /TASS/. The United States has addressed Turkey with an offer to pull out the detachments of US-controlled Kurdish forces from northern Syria to a distance of 30 kilometers, if Ankara agrees to drop plans for a cross-border operation in the region, the Hurriyet daily said following the talks held this week between the chiefs of the general staffs of Turkey and the United States.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 23 told parliament there were plans for a ground operation in several areas in northern Syria: Tell Rifaat, Manbij and Ain al-Arab (Kobani). Prior to this, as a result of an air operation the Turkish army destroyed supply routes, oil facilities, headquarters and training bases controlled by the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the People's Defense Units, which are considered terrorist in Ankara, Hurriyet writes. Having realized they would find themselves in a disastrous situation, should a ground operation begin, the Kurdish forces began to ask the Americans for support, the newspaper notes.
Well aware of Erdogan's intention to carry out such an operation, Washington decided to settle the problem without bringing the situation to a boiling point, the daily says. According to its sources, first a telephone conversation took place between the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, and his Turkish counterpart, Yasar Guler. Then Turkey’s Defense Minister, Hulusi Akar, received the US ambassador to Ankara, Jeff Flake.
"What do these meetings mean in a situation where everyone is talking about the possibility of an operation? Firstly, such negotiations are natural, since the American military is present in Kobani. Secondly, the Americans offered to pull back the Kurdish forces under their control to a distance of 30 kilometers, which would make a ground operation unnecessary," Hurriyet notes.
There has been no comment on the daily’s speculations from Turkish officials yet.