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McMaster Confirms to Turkey, US Not to Give Weapons to Kurds - Reports

CC0 / / The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense
The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin held phone talks with US National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster, during which McMaster confirmed that the US would not provide further weapons to Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Anadolu news agency reported Saturday.

During the talks that were held on Friday night, the sides also discussed that Turkey's security concerns that should be taken into account and agreed to keep a close contact to avoid misunderstandings, the agency reported.

The conversation occurred in wake of a statement, made by the Pentagon two days earlier, that the US hadn't provided any training or arms to the Kurds located in the Afrin area.

Last December, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that US President Donald Trump had reassured Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he had ordered to cease supplies of US weapons to the Syrian Kurds.

READ MORE: Syrian Kurdish YPG Reports Repelling Major Assault in Afrin Region

Turkey has been conducting the Olive Branch military operation in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian town of Afrin since January 20. The town is controlled by the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). 

Turkish forces are seen near Mount Barsaya, northeast of Afrin, Syria January 22,2018 - Sputnik International
Nearly 400 Kurdish, Daesh Fighters Killed in Afrin Op - Turkish General Staff
The latter is considered to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist group by Turkey and several other countries.

Despite opposition to the operation by many members of the international community, Ankara has stressed that the advance is not aimed against the Syrian government, calling the territorial integrity of Syria its mutual goal with Damascus.

Damascus has, however, denounced the operation as a violation of Syria's sovereignty. For its part, Russia has called upon all parties involved to exercise restraint and respect Syria’s territorial integrity.

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