Turkey disputes White House readout of Erdogan-Trump phone call

US President Donald Trump has urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to de-escalate the country's military incu...

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 1:02 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2018 1:02 PM

US President Donald Trump has urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to de-escalate the country's military incursions in northern Syria, warning against actions that "could risk conflict between Turkish and American forces."

The comments, which were immediately disputed by Turkish officials, represent the clearest indication yet of the seriousness in which Washington views Turkey's military operations in northern Syria, and the potential risk they could pose to the stability of the region.

Speaking with Erdogan by phone, Trump said that Turkey's "Operation Olive Branch," targeting US-backed Kurdish fighters, "risks undercutting our shared goals in Syria," according to a White House statement.

Taking a tough tone with his Turkish counterpart, Trump "urged Turkey to de-escalate, limit its military actions, and avoid civilian casualties and increases to displaced persons and refugees."

In a sign of deteriorating relations between the two NATO allies, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that the official US summary "differ(ed) from the truth discussed between the Turkish and US Presidents' phone conversation."

A message sent to journalists from an unnamed Turkish government official also refuted US accounts.

"President Trump did not share any 'concerns about escalating violence' with regard to the ongoing military operation in Afrin," read the message. "The two leaders' discussion of Operation Olive Branch was limited to an exchange of views."

Speaking prior to the two leaders' conversation Tuesday, the former US ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman, said the currents running through Turkish domestic politics are tightly intertwined with perceptions of the US.

"The relationship between the US and Turkey has been very tense for a very long time," Edelman told CNN. "Those tensions in some way are rooted in the nature of the regime that Erdogan is attempting to impose on Turkey, which to some degree is fueled by anti-Americanism."

Turkey's ongoing air and ground strikes in the northern Syrian city of Afrin have predominately targeted Kurdish YPG fighters. The group, which is trained and armed by the US, is viewed by Ankara as a terrorist organization.

Turkey sees the quest by the Kurds -- who are spread out in Turkey, Syria and Iraq -- to establish an independent homeland as an existential threat to its territorial integrity and has long warned that it will not tolerate control of much of its border with Syria by the YPG.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told CNN Tuesday that "(Turkey) had to take (military) action to protect our border."

"This is not an operation against the Kurds of Afrin or Syria. This is an operation against a terrorist network that claims to represent the Kurds, which is far from the truth," he said.

Turkey's military operations, now entering into their fifth day, have involved up to 13,000 fighters, according to estimates provided by rebel groups supporting the Turkish offensive.

Ankara said it gave both Moscow and Washington advance notice of its intentions.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has denounced the offensive, calling it "Turkish brutal aggression on the Syrian city of Afrin," according to the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.

Huntsville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 54°
Florence
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 63°
Fayetteville
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 55°
Decatur
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 53°
Scottsboro
Few Clouds
57° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 57°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 131988

Reported Deaths: 2304
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19123337
Mobile13122290
Montgomery8688173
Madison763075
Tuscaloosa7323114
Lee575159
Shelby571950
Baldwin508749
Marshall387943
Calhoun337439
Etowah336547
Morgan321426
Houston272722
Elmore255847
DeKalb237119
St. Clair224335
Walker224380
Talladega207726
Limestone200119
Cullman186218
Dallas174926
Franklin174528
Russell17312
Autauga169124
Lauderdale165333
Colbert160926
Escambia156425
Blount156014
Jackson151611
Chilton150227
Dale133343
Covington131127
Coffee12838
Pike11619
Tallapoosa113683
Chambers113242
Clarke105517
Marion94828
Butler91138
Barbour8387
Winston71612
Marengo70119
Lowndes64927
Pickens63814
Bibb63610
Randolph62212
Hale61528
Lawrence59220
Bullock59114
Geneva5814
Monroe5768
Cherokee56916
Clay5527
Washington54913
Perry5386
Wilcox53111
Conecuh52411
Crenshaw52331
Macon47820
Henry4754
Fayette4269
Sumter41819
Lamar3532
Choctaw34512
Cleburne3326
Greene30015
Coosa1653
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 184409

Reported Deaths: 2233
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30155447
Davidson26017293
Hamilton914489
Rutherford903187
Knox899872
Williamson508936
Sumner470593
Wilson337343
Putnam307037
Out of TN301324
Montgomery296243
Unassigned28916
Bradley285816
Madison270156
Sevier251813
Blount244023
Maury226023
Washington217933
Robertson217233
Sullivan205431
Hamblen183825
Tipton173917
Trousdale16517
Gibson153819
Hardeman153225
Wayne14805
Bedford130916
Dyer127912
Dickson119913
Cumberland115317
Fayette114318
Anderson113311
Henderson113119
Carter112627
Weakley111819
Loudon11156
Coffee110812
Greene110737
Obion10889
McMinn106824
Jefferson106614
Macon102020
Warren10127
Monroe100116
Lawrence97011
Hardin96714
Lauderdale93615
Haywood92116
Lake9152
Franklin9137
Bledsoe8454
Roane8414
Carroll83217
McNairy81016
Cheatham79010
White7849
Rhea78111
Hawkins77016
Cocke7349
Marshall7175
Overton6805
Smith67810
Johnson6482
Henry6029
Chester5919
Lincoln5791
Giles56817
DeKalb54611
Hickman5385
Crockett51319
Marion5007
Decatur4786
Fentress4363
Claiborne4304
Campbell4193
Polk37811
Grainger3503
Union3371
Benton3329
Jackson3055
Morgan3053
Unicoi2801
Cannon2760
Grundy2495
Humphreys2323
Sequatchie2233
Meigs2213
Clay2105
Scott2002
Houston1860
Lewis1771
Stewart1752
Moore1541
Van Buren1530
Perry1460
Hancock1063
Pickett982

Community Events