No Advances in Tillerson’s Visit to Ankara

Eldorar Alshamia Editor | 31 March, 2017

ElDorar AlShamia:


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived at Ankara on Thursday and discussed with Turkish officials a range of issues including the war on IS group amid news of a planned meeting between Erdogan and Trump in May.


Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim met Tillerson and discussed with him the efforts to fight IS organization along with the bilateral relations between the two countries, and the file of handing Washington the leader of the parallel entity Fathullah Gulen, to Ankara.


Erdogan said that he and his American counterpart agreed on the importance of holding a bilateral meeting between them. The meeting will be in May, and they exchanged a lot of messages through the Turkish ministers who visited the United States recently and agreed to hold a bilateral meeting between the two sides dealing with several files in particular handing over Fathullah Gulen to Turkey and counterterrorism operations, and the situation in Syria and Iraq.


Nothing new announced through the Visit

The first visit to Turkey by the American official in the new administration appeared routine and did not carry any unusual things . Yildirim and Tillerson were trying to purge Syria and Iraq of IS organization and to fight Fathullah Gulen, responsible for the failed coup attempt in Turkey in mid-July. In 2016, well-informed sources said.


The sources did not mention the Turkish position on US support for the YPG militia, which Turkey has consistently condemned and demanded that the United States stop supporting it in its separatist project on Turkey’s southern border.


It said that the two sides discussed ways to enhance the continuous cooperation between the two countries on bilateral and regional issues and agreed to continue the intensive discussions during the coming period.


American insistence on support YPG despite the Turkish objection

The militia continues its campaign, backed by the Washington-led international coalition in the western suburb of Raqqa, and is preparing for a broad attack on the IS group’s stronghold of the city in northeastern Syria, which Turkey rejected after US armored vehicles stood in front of the Euphrates Shield operation and prevented it from liberating Manbij in the eastern suburb of Aleppo.


US officials, including US Senator John McCain, have demanded that the Turkish position be taken into consideration, and work on coordination with Ankara in the north of Syria. Turkish and US media sources earlier reported a new policy in the Trump administration different from the previous approach of Barack Obama’s which may include easing support for the YPG militia in the interests of relations with Turkey but what happened is just a dedication to the previous policy.


Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim was not delighted in the meeting with Tillerson and the two sides did not spoke of any new agreements neither.


"Euphrates Shield" ended and Turkey pledges to combat "terrorist organizations"

Erdogan said in a televised interview last week that the mission of his country's forces in Syria is not over and that there are things that have not been accomplished so far in the north of Syria. He also pointed out that Russia must refrain from responding to all calls to it, commenting on Moscow's rapprochement with YPG militia, which appeared through photographs of its soldiers with Kurdish militants in the city of Afrin.


Erdogan added that the Russian and US interest in YPG is troubling to Turkey, and that his country's authorities have informed both countries of disobeying this rapprochement. "Our mission will continue in Syrian territory until all Syrian areas are cleared of these terrorists," he said. About the situation in the north of Syria Erdogan said that US, Russia and Turkey’s Chief of Staff  are still talking, and the promotion of some parties that the task of Turkey is over and must withdraw, just empty words.


Turkey announced on Wednesday the end of Operation "Euphrates Shield" after achieving "great success" referring to other operations to combat terrorist organizations, where Ankara deals with YPG militia and IS organization as the same.


Turkey has found itself alone with the Free Syrian Army in the face of the Russia and Western push to support the separatist militias (YPG) militia, but Turkish officials seem determined to pursue "the war on terrorist organizations to keep them away from the border and get rid of the threat to the country."