Washington needs Ankara’s “close cooperation" in achieving a new future for Syria, says Secretary of State.
The U.S. will continue to work with Turkey and consider Ankara’s concerns about the PKK terror group, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday.
“On counterterrorism, we will continue to work with our allies and partners such as Turkey to address the terror threat in Idlib and address Turkey’s concerns with PKK terrorists elsewhere.” Tillerson said in speech at Stanford University.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.
Tillerson said the U.S. recognizes Turkey’s “humanitarian contributions and military sacrifices” in Syria defeating Daesh, adding that Washington needs Ankara’s “close cooperation” in achieving a new future for Syria that ensures security for Syria's neighbors.
Describing the U.S. military presence in Syria as part of a broader U.S. strategy to prevent Daesh’s resurgence, Tillerson added that the U.S. will remain in Syria until Daesh is completely defeated.
His remarks came following Turkey’s heavy criticism of a U.S. plan to establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria with the SDF -- a U.S.-backed group drawn up largely of PYD/PKK terrorist elements.