US GENERAL: RUSSIA TO BLAME FOR US-TURKEY TENSIONS

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US general Joseph Votel said Moscow’s actions in Syria and its support to the Syrian leader Bashar Assad fuel tensions among numerous states participating in resolving the Syrian crisis, including the United States and Turkey.

“I am concerned about this role that Russia plays in northern Syria and how it impacts all of our relationships and especially relations between us and Turkey,” Votel said.

He added that Ankara has been an important partner in Washington’s fight against ISIS, so the White House recognize the Turkish authorities have legitimate concerns with security along their state border.

Votel also said Turkey’s Olive Branch operation in Syria caused tensions between Washington and Ankara. Talking about Syria’s Kurdish-held city of Afrin, he said Pentagon is not interested in operating there.

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