Tillerson: Islamic State Yet To Suffer 'Enduring Defeat'

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The Turkish government considers the YPG an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which have led a long-armed insurgency for freedom against the Turkish state.

"The end of major combat operations does not mean we have achieved the enduring defeat" of the IS group, Tillerson told a gathering of members of the coalition in Kuwait on February 13.

Tillerson is on a tour in several Middle Eastern countries. He is also visiting Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Kuwait. "Their security representatives came and their secretary of state is going to come, we'll talk to them too", Erdogan said. But she acknowledged the Turkish campaign in Afrin "is one of the areas of deep, deep concern on the part of the [Trump] administration and the USA government".

Shoukry said certain human rights groups that criticized the electoral climate in Egypt lacked information and "direct association" with Egyptian society.

The call for a renewed focus on ISIS comes as the U.S.is confronting a worsening situation in Syria, where no less than five foreign governments are fighting proxy battles within the country's broader civil war.

"At times like this, engagement is all the more important, but.it's going to be a hard conversation", the official said.

The top US diplomat's visit to Ankara comes amid escalated tensions over a series of disagreements, including human rights cases and the Syria crisis. The Turkish president said that he would ignore calls from Washington and head all the way to Manbij which could be a move that would damage the special alliance between Istanbul and Washington that has lasted for a long time. In response to the Turkish threat, U.S. Lt. Gen. Paul Funk who is a coalition commander warned the country.

On Feb. 1, Amnesty International's Turkey chairman, Taner Kilic, was re-arrested and placed back in pretrial detention. "The idea is that somehow Kurdish success in Syria could embolden Kurdish separatists inside Turkey", he said.

Meanwhile, former co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, one of Turkey's most charismatic politicians, has been in jail since November 2016.

Ties were damaged after the failed coup of 2016 with Turkey stung by a perceived lack of United States solidarity and angered by Washington's refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric blamed for ordering the putsch. Gulen has denied any role in the plot.

The US has rubbished the "Ottoman slap" threat issued by Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a possible confrontation between American and Turkish military personnel in the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Paul Funk, the commander of United States forces in Syria and Iraq, made a recent visit to Manbij and said that the United States and its partners in Syria would hit back if attacked. Russian forces are backing the Assad regime's offensives, and they, along with Iran, may have supported the attack on America's Kurdish allies east of the Euphrates River.

Contradicted by the USA government documents, the Pentagon is now making efforts to avert further tensions with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, Turkey, which opposes US support to the PYD/PKK under the name SDF.

Most notably, the official visits of US National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Turkey, slated for this week, are hoped to facilitate the dialogue with Washington, Erdogan's spokesman said Wednesday.

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