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Syria offensive: US seeks to address Turkey's 'legitimate' security concerns

January 22, 2018 4:27 pm

The US is willing to work with Turkey to address its “legitimate” security concerns in northern Syria, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said.

He was speaking after Turkey’s military incursion into northern Syria to fight the Kurdish YPG militia at the weekend.

Turkey sees the group as terrorists, but they have been crucial in a US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) group.

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Ankara said the US had to stop backing the YPG if they wanted cooperation.

“If they want cooperation, we are ready for this cooperation,” Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Monday. “As the first step to take, they can stop arming terror groups and take back weapons already given.”

Turkey says its troops have seized territory from the Kurdish militia, which controls much of north-eastern Syria.

It is believed by Turkey to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades. The YPG denies any direct links to the group.T

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