Pentagon: We have no knowledge of Erdogan’s statements regarding Trump

The Pentagon in Washington is seen from aboard Air Force One. (Reuters)

US military commanders have been briefed on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments claiming he discussed some military operations in Syria with President Donald Trump, and announced that they will not comment on them, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said on Monday.

The spokesman also said Erdogan spoke about Trump's stances on the issue, which the Pentagon had no knowledge of at the current time, according to statements carried on the US-backed Al Hurra channel.

Manning stressed that the Pentagon sees alarming risks if Turkey decides to launch ground military incursions into Syria.

The Pentagon has expressed grave concern, saying unilateral military action by any party in northeast Syria - where US forces operate - would be “unacceptable”.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan suggested that Trump was more receptive to Turkish plans to move east of the Euphrates River than his own US Defense Department.

“We officially announced that we will start a military operation to the east of the Euphrates,” Erdogan said in a speech in the central province of Konya. “We discussed this with Mr Trump and he gave a positive response.”

Turkey and the United States have long been at odds over Syria policy, where Washington has backed the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia against ISIS. Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organization tied to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an outlawed group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:51 - GMT 06:51
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