US Defense Secretary Mattis admits some YPG militants are shifting to Afrin


Declaring bilateral ties at a critical point, the top Turkish envoy said "we will either fix the ties or they will break down completely".

He also elaborated on Ankara's expectations, and condemned continuous USA support for the YPG.

We want concrete steps [regarding the YPG]. The missing trust needs to be restored.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis on February 11 acknowledged that some members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - the U.S. -backed militant group dominated by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) - had shifted to the Afrin district amid Turkey's ongoing military operation there, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on February 12.

However, Turkey considers that militia, the YPG, a terrorist organisation.

He was speaking, on Monday, a day after a visit to Turkey by U.S. National Security Advisor HR McMaster and ahead of a stop in Ankara this week by U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

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Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) that has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

This is while U.S. officials regard the YPG as the most effective fighting force against the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria, and have substantially increased their weaponry and technology support to the terrorist group.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey's borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation has been conducted jointly with the Free Syrian Army forces.

On Sunday, Bekir Bozdag, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister said his country has shown "sensitivity" to not harming civilians during the ongoing operation in Syria's Afrin.