By Safvan Allahverdi
WASHINGTON (AA) - U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that Turkey's military operation to remove terror groups in Afrin is hampering the U.S.-led coalition’s efforts to maintain the focus on the fight against Daesh in Syria.
"As to the situation in Afrin, it has detracted from our fight to defeat ISIS [Daesh] in eastern Syria," Tillerson said at a joint press conference in Kuwait with Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah.
He said part of the SDF (PYD/PKK) was moving toward Afrin to fight against Turkish forces and this situation affects the fight against Daesh and Washington wants to make sure Turkey is aware of this.
Tillerson is heading the U.S. delegation to the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat Daesh to be hosted by Kuwait.
The secretary of state’s itinerary includes a stop in Turkey, where he will meet with senior Turkish officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
The operation is being carried out against the PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorist groups in the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions and its self-defense rights under the UN Charter.