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Turkey denies use of chemicals in Syria's Afrin, says accusations baseless

Turkey denies use of chemicals in Syria's Afrin, says accusations baseless

Turkey demands USA "turn words into actions" as Pentagon continues to back Syrian Kurdish YPG in fight against ISIL.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım evaluated regional developments and shared insight into Turkey's counterterrorism efforts during the 54th Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Last month, Turkey initiated an operation, supported by Syrian rebel fighters, to push out the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria's northwest region Afrin region. "Ours is not an alliance of convenience. It is a time-tested alliance built on common interest and mutual respect", Tillerson said.

The operation has sparked a festering row between the two countries.

Turkey has suggested joint operations with the U.S. in the past as an alternative to the United States alliance with the Kurds. Cavusoglu said Turkey expects US troops in Manbij to withdraw east of the Euphrates River.

"We agreed our objectives are precisely the same", he said, citing the destruction of Islamic State remnants and stabilizing Syria to allow the return of refugees and people uprooted within the country.

Tillerson and Cavusoglu continued the discussion over breakfast.

Turkey has been engaged in a ground and air assault on Afrin in Northern Syria, which is occupied by US-backed Kurdish forces.

Hediye Yusuf, a Syrian Kurdish politician, posted photos of several allegedly wounded men on Twitter on Saturday, claiming they were exposed to a sarin gas attack by Turkish forces.

Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally the United States has armed the YPG as part of an alliance it backs in Syria against Islamic State. Turkey sees the YPG as terrorists and an extension of the banned PKK.

"Syria completely denies claims by the Turkish regime that it was informed of this military operation", the source added.

"We can cooperate with any side that lends us a helping hand in light of the barbaric crimes and the global silence", Jia Kurd said. "We are going to lock arms; we are going to work through the issues that are causing difficulties for us", Tillerson said.

Indirectly she confirmed the reports from Afrin by stating that "we are seeing not only there but also in other parts of Syria in these weeks a deterioration and an escalation on the military level that definitely is not encouraging in the current circumstances".

Such tensions have hit Turkish public opinion, with 83 percent holding unfavourable views of the United States of America, a Center for American Progress poll showed this week.

Even people-to-people ties are affected with 67 percent of Turks having an unfavourable view of Americans.



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