MESOP REPORT : Turkey Clashes with Syrian Kurds as Tensions with U.S. Rise

10 Feb 2016 – Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara yesterday to protest U.S. coalition support being provided to Kurdish militias in Syria. The latest indication of the long-running tensions between the United States and Turkey over aid to Kurdish militias comes after U.S. officials met with Kurdish rebels in Syria last Sunday and in advance of a summit of the military coalition fighting the Islamic State that’s set to begin in Brussels tomorrow. Today, hours after summoning the U.S. ambassador, Turkish officials reported that the military clashed with Syrian Kurdish fighters when they tried to cross into Turkey.

Those talks in Brussels are expected to include discussion of a potential escalation of the coalition’s strategy. “I don’t think anybody’s satisfied with the pace of the (campaign), that’s why we’re all looking to accelerate it,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said.