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Erdogan’s top aide retracts his statements re hitting US forces in N.Syria

By Ela Gonca İzmirli

Ilnur Cevik, a senior aide to President Erdogan, who said on May 3rd that the U.S. forces teamed up with members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, were in danger of being hit by Turkish troops modified his position on Tweeter late last night, retracted his statements.

Mr. Cevık, said that if YPG units and their American military advisers “go too far, our forces [wouldn’t care whether] there are American armors there..,” during an interview on Turkish radio station CRI TURK Wednesday. “Suddenly a few missiles might hit them [Americans] accidentally too,” he added, referring to partnered U.S. forces.

Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon, in an email to Washington Hattı, responded to Erdogan’s top foreign policy adviser’s threat saying ”We find these comments to be irresponsible and unacceptable.” Describing both Turkey and SDF as ”our most trusted partners in the fight to defeat ISIS,” Pahon called all parties to remain focused on the fight to defeat ISIS adding that ”The patrols’ purpose is to discourage escalation and violence between two of our most trusted partners in the fight to defeat ISIS and reinforce the Coalition’s commitment to both Turkey and the SDF.”

Mr. Cevik later attempted to walk back his comments with a series of tweets on Twitter; “Turkey has never and will never hit its allies anywhere, and that includes the U.S. in Syria,” he said in a tweet posted shortly after Pentagon spokesman’s statements. Cevik did his clarifications in both Turkish and English:

In a separate tweet, Ilnur Cevik said: “Turkey has and will hit all terrorists in Syria so no one should allow our US allies to become a shield for them,” the Turkish version of the same tweet reads as “… The US should not allow these murderers to use their soldiers as human shields.”

A third tweet said: “Friends do not cooperate with terrorists who kill their friends or else you alienate the Turkish people.”

And finally “Turks do not threaten or harm allies and friends. That includes Americans.”

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