Trump Urges Erdogan to Limit Military Actions in Syria

U.S. President Donald Trump has urged Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to limit Ankara’s military actions in northern Syria.

Turkish forces have been conducting ‘Operation Olive Branch’ against what Ankara calls terrorist targets in parts of Syria close to Turkey’s southern borders.

The White House issued a statement on a meeting between Trump and Erdogan in Davos, Switzerland.

In it, Trump was quoted as saying Turkey must avoid any acts that might risk conflict between Turkish and American forces.

Trump “urged Turkey to deescalate, limit its military actions, and avoid civilian casualties and increases to displaced persons and refugees” the statement read.

It also claimed the U.S. leader “expressed concern about destructive and false rhetoric coming from Turkey, and about United States citizens and local employees detained under the prolonged State of Emergency in Turkey”.

Tension between the two NATO allies has been high for months, with one diplomatic spat leading to the suspension of travel visas between the countries.

Ankara has been incensed by U.S. support for Kurdish militias in northern Syria, which Turkey says are extensions of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a group designated as terrorists by the U.S. and the EU.