Mixed messages from the US as Turkey attacks SDF positions
The US has emphasized the need for de-escalation in Syria while offering ‘support’ for Turkey’s right to self-defense following the deadly terror attack in Istanbul earlier this month.

"Turkey continues to fall victim to terrorist attacks, whether its near that border or elsewhere inside the country. And they have a right to defend themselves and their citizens against attacks," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters at a briefing.

It added: "We don't want to see actions, particularly inside Syria that are going to lead to potential for more casualties, more loss of innocent life, and any diminution from our efforts, a distraction away from our efforts, because we have troops in Syria".

The US troops in Syria are fighting alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against Islamic State ISIS terror group.

US support for the SDF has long strained bilateral relations between Ankara and Washington because of the US-backed SDF’s alleged ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Last Wednesday, the Pentagon expressed concern over Turkey's airstrikes in Northern Syria, saying they posed a threat to US personnel and harmed the fight against ISIS.

"Recent airstrikes in Syria directly threatened the safety of U.S. personnel who are working in Syria with local partners to defeat ISIS and maintain custody of more than ten thousand ISIS detainees," said Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder in a statement.

Ryder said the US recognizes Turkey legitimate security concerns and added "we will continue to discuss with Turkey and our local partners maintaining cease-fire arrangements."

On November 20, Ankara launched Operation Claw-Sword, a cross-border aerial campaign against the YPG across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan attacks on Turkish soil.

The country's air operation followed a terror attack on November 13, on Istanbul's crowded Istiklal Avenue that killed six people and left 81 injured.

Turkish authorities claimed the perpetrators of the blast took orders from groups in Syria associated with PKK.

The Commander-in-Chief of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi has insisted that the SDF has nothing to do with the bombing at Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue.

He has also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and the Turkish people and hoped for an early recovery for the wounded.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan affirmed on Monday Turkey's determination to establish a 30-kilometer-deep (18.6-mile) security strip next to its borders continues, something it previously sought to do with US and Russian cooperation on its southern border.

Turkish officials have complained that Washington and Moscow failed to uphold their ends of the deal.

"We do not need to get permission from anyone while taking steps concerning the security of our homeland and our people, and we will not be held accountable to anyone," Erdogan added.

Mazloum Abdi Kobane, announced in a press conference that the SDF forces will halt their operations against Islamic State ISIS militias to focus on scuppering Turkey’s incursions along Syria’s northern and Eastern borders.

Reporter's code: 50101