US Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Feb 14, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)
ANKARA – Türkiye's Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned the US ambassador to Ankara for the visit of a top US commander to a Kurdish-held area in northeastern Syria, the semi-official Anadolu Agency reported.
Ankara "asked for an explanation" regarding the visit of Mark Milley, US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to northeastern Syria on March 4, the agency quoted anonymous Turkish diplomatic sources as saying.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for over three decades
Milley met US troops stationed there under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), spearheaded by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
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Tensions between Ankara and Washington have long simmered over the US backing of the YPG in northern Syria. The Kurdish fighters cooperated with Washington in operations against the Islamic State, but Ankara has long been asking the US to cease its partnership with the YPG.
Ankara sees the Kurdish group as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
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The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for over three decades.