Later in the day, both the US Central Command and the Turkish Military confirmed that the strikes took place. Çavuşoğlu’s aide claimed the prior statement was a “misunderstanding.” He added, “Mr. Minister had wanted to say that there were no Turkish jets [hitting ISIL targets].”
The safe zone that never was
Thursday’s back and forth between Ankara and Washington served only as a mirror for Wednesday.
Another controversy erupted when foreign ministry undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu claimed that both sides had agreed that a safe zone was to be created in Syria. “The control and protection of this region cleared of (ISIL) will be conducted by Syrian opposition forces and the necessary air defence and support for this … will be provided by the United States and Turkey.”
The response from Washington came with Mark Toner from the US State Department emphasizing “We’ve been pretty clear from the podium and elsewhere saying there’s no zone, no safe haven—we’re not talking about that here. What we’re talking about is a sustained effort to drive ISIL out of the region.”
The PYD and YPG
Another point of difference between Turkey and the United States regarding tackling ISIL has been the role of Syrian Kurdish Groups such as The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed structure, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), with Ankara against the principle of supporting the groups.
The state-run Anatolia News Agency was on the forefront saying that Turkey and the US agreed not to allow the PYD to enter any area cleared off from ISIL. When asked if the US will allow a potential attack from Turkey against the PYD and the YPG, Toner answered back “No, no, our understanding with Turkey is that they will not attack, and we would not agree to that.”
August 13, 2015 | BGNNews.com | Istanbul