Not aware of civilian casualties in Afrin: Pentagon
The Pentagon said Monday it has no information about civilian casualties in Syria’s Afrin region, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
"I am not aware of any incidents regarding what you just specified, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning told reporters who were asking about allegations by PYD/PKK terrorists that Turkey's military operation there had caused civilian deaths.
Manning was speaking at a daily press conference at the Pentagon.
He said Washington continues to work with Turkish authorities toward finding the best solution in the region.
"They [Turkey] are our NATO ally," Manning said when asked if the Pentagon is concerned about the conflict between the U.S. and Turkey if Ankara enters Manbij following its Afrin operation.
"So we go through great measures to make sure that we deconflict and they understand where our forces are," he added.
"The coalition’s only official relationship in Manbij is with the Manbij Military Council, which was created to defend Manbij from ISIS [Daesh]. But as far as for our ally Turkey, we are in close and continued communication with them."
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch earlier this month to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
In response to a question from an Anadolu Agency correspondent about an allegation that a female PYD/PKK suicide bomber killed two Turkish troops and destroyed a Turkish tank in Afrin, another Pentagon spokesperson, Adrian Rankine-Galloway, said the Pentagon does not have additional information on the allegation.
Recalling that Kurdish forces operating in Afrin are not part of the U.S.-led collation, Rankine-Galloway also stated that the U.S. does not operate with those PYD/PKK elements there.
"Kurdish forces who engage with Turkish forces in the Afrin region do not have any affiliation with the U.S.-led coalition whatsoever," he added.
The U.S. has supported the PYD/PKK, considered by Ankara as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization that has waged a more than 30-year war against the Turkish state. The terror campaign has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
American support for the terror group has long vexed Ankara as Washington views the PYD/PKK-led umbrella group SDF as a "reliable partner" in its fight against Daesh and continues to provide it with arms and equipment in the face of strong objections by Turkey.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.
Related news releases
- 24.02.2018Trump urges Mexico to block illegal immigrants from El Salvador
- 24.02.2018UNSC postpones vote on ceasefire proposal in Syria
- 24.02.2018NASA finds water could be widespread on moon
- 24.02.2018White House on lockdown after vehicle hits security barrier
- 24.02.2018Trump: If North Korea sanctions don't work, we go to 'Phase 2'
- 24.02.2018Trump campaign aide to plead guilty
- 24.02.2018U.S. ready to open Jerusalem embassy in May: State Department
- 23.02.2018U.S. expects to open Jerusalem embassy in May, officials say
- 23.02.2018U.S. imposes largest package of sanctions against North Korea
- 23.02.2018Trump administration to target North Korea with new sanctions on Friday
- 23.02.2018IAEA reaffirms Iran’s compliance with JCPOA in its new report
- 23.02.2018SpaceX launches internet satellite prototypes
- 23.02.2018Man dies after throwing explosive device at US Embassy in Montenegro
- 23.02.2018Oil prices climb after unexpected drawdown in U.S. crude stocks
- 23.02.2018Russian diplomats tried to export 400 kg of cocaine from Argentina
- 22.02.2018Charity boss resigns from Unicef
- 22.02.2018US: Melania Trump’s parents become US residents
- 22.02.2018U.S. SEC updates guidance on cyber attack disclosure for companies
- 21.02.2018US: students rally in Florida to stop school shootings
- 21.02.2018U.S.-led air strike in Somalia kills three al Shabaab militants: statement
- 21.02.2018US pledges closer cooperation with Turkey
- 21.02.2018Trump pushes for ban on gun 'bump stocks'
- 21.02.2018Trump phones Mexican president over copter crash
- 20.02.2018Pentagon prepares new ballistic missile defense review
- 19.02.2018Tillerson says new sanctions can be imposed on Russia
- 18.02.2018US to work with Turkey on liberated areas in Syria
- 18.02.2018Brazil to form public security ministry to battle rising crime
- 18.02.2018US charges 13 Russian nationals, 3 organizations with alleged meddling in 2016 election
- 17.02.2018Mexico helicopter crash kills 13 on ground in wake of earthquake
- 17.02.2018Helicopter with interior minister, governor crashes into van in Mexico, kills two
- 17.02.2018Flu killed 22 American children last week
- 17.02.2018Mexico hit by major earthquake of magnitude 7.5
- 17.02.2018FBI failed to investigate Florida shooter tip
- 16.02.2018US grand jury indicts 13 Russians for election meddling
- 16.02.2018John Kirby: "Tillerson breaks protocol by meeting Erdogan without translator"
- 16.02.2018Tillerson and Turkey's Erdogan had productive conversation: U.S. spokesman
- 16.02.2018US court says travel ban discriminates against Muslims
- 15.02.2018FBI was warned about Florida gunman
- 15.02.2018Avalanche kills three skiers in France
- 15.02.2018US and Russia dispute over Syria in UN Security Council
- 30.01.2018‘Kremlin report’ imposing sanctions on Russian officials and oligarchs submitted to US Congress
- 30.01.2018US Treasury Secretary says 'Kremlin report' will trigger new sanctions
- 31.01.2018Trump to hail 'new American moment'
- 30.01.2018US: FBI's deputy chief to step down
- 29.01.2018U.S. won’t withdraw troops from Syria’s Manbij, top commander says
- 28.01.2018Magnitude 5.7 Earthquake Hist Waters Southeast of Panama