US, James Jeffrey

Washington pressures Europe to help Turkey in Syria

US envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, acknowledged that Washington wants to see more EU and NATO support for Ankara, and stressed that Turkey can not be the only one to bear the burden of what is happening in Syria.

The US special envoy for Syria, James Jeffrey, acknowledged on Thursday that Washington is pressuring the countries of the European Union to reach a great agreement on Syria that includes greater economic and military support for Turkey, in the midst of a new crisis by the arrival of thousands of refugees to Europe.

During a conference in Istanbul on the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib, Jeffrey stressed that Turkey cannot be solely responsible for preventing what is happening in Syria, and that the United States, the Arab world, the European Union and the NATO itself need to share its share of the burden, too.

“We want a political solution under the UN framework, and we need to carry out our work very quickly at all levels,” said the US spokesman, adding that the US had already offered humanitarian aid and shared military intelligence with Turkey, and that it was pressuring Europeans to make “a significant contribution” as well.

“We are pressing our European allies to contribute to this issue. There is a battery of Patriot defense missiles from Spain right now deployed at the İncirlik base in Turkey: that is (also) an example of things that NATO is doing. .. But we want to see more actions like that,” said Jeffrey, who also criticised the actions of the Syrian regime and its Russian ally in Idlib despite the agreements signed with Ankara.

The Syrian regime and Russia have a “very broad definition” of terrorism

“We have not been able to see a ceasefire, either in Damascus, or in Aleppo or anywhere” despite the signing of the Sochi agreement that established a war de-escalation zone in Idlib, said Jeffrey, accusing the regime of Assad and Moscow to use any excuse to launch operations against the “terrorists” in Idlib, and of having a “very broad” definition of what they consider terrorists.

Regarding Turkey’s request for the United States to deploy additional Patriot missiles along its border with Syria, Jeffrey acknowledged however that in the White House there is no unanimous position on the support that should be given to Turkey in Idlib due to the purchase by Turkey of the Russian defense systems S-400, which is “a very serious concern for Washington“.