Turkish and US defence ministers discuss the situation in Syria and Iraq

Turkish and US defence ministers discussed on Wednesday the situation in Syria and Iraq on the sidelines of NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels, SIA reports.

Hulusi Akar and Mark Esper agreed that NATO and the US should take more concrete steps in the region, during the closed-door meeting. Prior to the main meeting, Akar expressed content with statements by US officials regarding Idlib. At least five Turkish troops were martyred and five injured in an attack by Assad regime forces in Idlib in Syria earlier this week.

That followed last week’s attack by regime forces in Idlib which martyred seven Turkish soldiers and one civilian contractor working with the Turkish military. It also injured more than a dozen people. In retaliation, Turkey has killed more than 200 Assad regime military personnel since last week.

Turkish Deputy Defence Minister Yunus Emre Karaosmanoglu on Wednesday stressed upon US envoy on Syria James Jeffrey that Washington should stop providing weapons to the YPG/PKK terror group.

The US stands with its NATO ally Turkey, the US special envoy for Syria said on Wednesday over the latest developments in Syria, according to diplomatic sources.

James Jeffrey arrived in Turkey on Tuesday to meet Turkish officials and reevaluate the recent developments in the region. During his meeting with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal, Jeffrey also extended condolences for the Turkish troops killed by the regime attacks in Idlib.

Onal, for his part, stressed the importance of implementing Astana and Sochi deals in the region. The parties evaluated the humanitarian crisis and the latest developments in Idlib and they highlighted that international communities should play an active role. Turkish troops are in Idlib as part of an anti-terror and peace mission.

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