Turkey summons USA charges d'affaires

Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference in Goslar Germany

The president noted that Turkey has the right and the necessary forces to expand military operations in Syria against YPG and PYD terrorist groups.

Both the USA and Turkish interventions in Syria, however, have been dwarfed by that of Assad supporters Russian Federation and Iran.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the charge d'affaires of the United States, Philip Kosnett, today, making him the third foreign envoy to be called in the past 24 hours amid rising tensions with Russian Federation over the Syrian government's ongoing offensive in Idlib.

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The Turkish government said the Idlib offensive was endangering the effort to reach a resolution of the conflict and accused the Syrian government of using the pretext of fighting militants to wage a wide scale attack.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had warned Russian Federation and Iran to adhere to their joint accord signed with Turkey a year ago for announcing "de-escalation zone" in Syrian town Idlib. Erdoğan has cast the YPG as "terrorists" closely connected to the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK), which has been fighting an anti-government guerrilla campaign in southeastern Turkey for decades.

The latest push by the army and its allies has alarmed Turkey which has been deploying forces inside northern Idlib and setting up bases which it says are part of agreements with Iran and Russian Federation over a de-escalation zone in Idlib. It has repeatedly condemned Washington's support for the YPG. Erdoğan has threatened to expand the Turkish military operation in northern Syria ("Euphrates Shield") by taking over YPG-controlled Manbij and the Afrin enclave in Idlib province. In 2017, to prevent Turkish-backed forces from overtaking Manbij, the United States deployed its Special Forces in town, while a small Russian Special Operations team appeared in Afrin, apparently for the same reason-to keep the Turks at bay.

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The three countries had agreed previous year to establish a "de-escalation zone" in the opposition-held Idlib province and surrounding region, which borders Turkey.

Rebels launched a counter-attack on Thursday.

Humanitarian aid organisations, rescuers and activists allege the Syrian and Russian air forces have struck hospitals, schools and marketplaces in congested residential areas in rebel-held towns. The moderate Syrian opposition in Idlib province seems to have been abandoned by Turkey and the USA and their Arab sponsors to the mercy of Russian-supported pro-al-Assad forces.

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