World Bulletin / News Desk
The Unites States and Turkey are "in close touch" regarding military intentions in Syria, a top U.S. diplomat said late Friday.
The main focus in the war-torn country "continues to be defeating ISIL and ensuring that it does not pose a threat any longer to the United States, to Turkey, to Europe, or to other parts of the world,” U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass told reporters after he delivered a speech at an Independence Day reception in the Turkish capital.
"We continue to believe strongly that Turkey has a right to defend itself. And we do not support the use by any organization of Syrian territory to launch or plan attacks against Turkey,” he said.
Bass said there has been "strong daily contact, communication and cooperation” between the U.S and Turkey, and the other nations in the anti-ISIL coalition – a process he expects to continue
He warned, however, that as the situation on the ground evolves, it is "important for all of the members of the coalition to continue to put the focus on eliminating ISIL's last strongholds.
"Now obviously as the campaign continues, and the territory that ISIL holds get smaller, there is greater opportunity for miscalculation by the many different military forces that are operating there,” he said.
Bass’ remarks come one week before Turkey marks one year since a deadly coup attempt was beat back by government forces with the support of Turks who demonstrated in the streets against the overthrow plot.
He said the U.S. supports the government’s efforts to bring to justice those responsible because it was the “right” thing to do.
"And that is clearly a desire of everyone in this society to see those who committed these crimes to suffer the consequences and to face the appropriate penalties from the judiciary,” he said.
Turkey accuses the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its leader, Fetullah Gulen, of having staged the coup attempt as well as being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Since the foiled coup, operations have been ongoing in the military, police and judiciary, as well as in other state institutions to arrest suspects with links to FETO.
Local and foreign tourists alongside trekking and mountaineering groups lured by famed line running from Ankara to Kars
Migrants were trying to cross into Greece and Bulgaria, according to gendarmerie
Students celebrate results across Turkey, including at school where 33 twins study
Faruk Kaymakci, Turkey's permanent representative to the EU, says FETO's influence on European Parliament, EU institutions is decreasing by the day
Berlin acknowledges Ankara's concerns, yet urges restraint amid reports of imminent military operation in Afrin
Anti-narcotics squads carry out operations across Turkey
Alliance's deputy secretary general to meet Turkish deputy foreign minister, other government officials
Binali Yildirim says it is Turkey's 'natural right' to defend its boundaries against threats to national security
‘Kayi Border Security System’ to enhance security of Turkey’s Syrian border
Ankara-based operation launched in 11 provinces to nab 68 former union leaders linked to group behind 2016 defeated coup
Currently on visit to Turkey, 16-year-old Fawzi al-Juneidi has become symbol of Palestinian resistance against occupation
It is our right under international law to take measures in face of attacks from Afrin, Syria, says Turkey's foreign minister
Border forces acted on tip off from Turkish intelligence
Gen. Hulusi Akar also set to discuss regional security issues with his Russian counterpart on Thursday
Exports soar by 10 pct y-o-y in 2017, says head of Houseware Association of Turkey
Monetary Policy Committee keeps policy rate, also known as one-week repo rate, at 8 pct