Yesterday, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Ankara on an official visit. After he met with his Turkish counterpart, Mattis also took part in the meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. According to Anadolu news agency, the talks lasted for more than one hour.
A statement released by the Pentagon reads that the agenda included “the need for ongoing open and honest dialogue, the importance of territorial integrity of Syria, and concern over Iran’s “malign influence” in the region”.
Meanwhile, however, some Turkish media citing their sources claim that the main topics for the Turkish president were Washington’s support for the Kurds and the referendum on independence in Iraq Kurdistan.
Obviously, Erdogan is worried because of U.S. officials visiting the Kurdish-populated regions in Syria and Iraq, so he uses any possibility to assert pressure on Washington. Unfortunately for Ankara, the U.S. still views the Kurds as a strong ally in the Middle East and doesn’t intend to give up its support. Clearly, Turkish military presence’s buildup near the Syrian-Turkish border along with the White House actions only intensify the pressure.
After the meeting ended, the Turkish president said: “Whatever the price, we will invade [Syria] and fight YPG”. This proves one thing: the consensus wasn’t reached, and Turkey and the U.S. are ready to put the lives of tens of thousands Syrians on stake for their own goals.