UPDATED 10:02 AM PT — Mon. February 12, 2018
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is meeting with senior Turkish officials amid escalating tensions in the region.
The leaders met Sunday to reaffirm the long-standing relationship between the two NATO allies despite recent riffs between the two countries.
Recently, Turkey has issued subliminal threats against U.S. forces in northern Syria as it engages in a deadly counter-terrorism operation against Kurdish forces.
This is the second meeting between U.S. and Turkish officials in the past two weeks as the two sides try to coordinate their efforts, while trying to stabilize the war-torn country of Syria.
“We are continually talking to Turkey…we have stressed the Turks to limit the operation, it is a distraction and have asked them to restrain themselves and avoid civilian casualties at all costs,” said Dana White, chief spokesperson for the Pentagon.
Turkish troops crossed the country’s southern border into Syria last month, targeting the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin.
Since the operation began in late January, at least 14 Turkish soldiers have been killed compared to an estimated 1,000 Kurdish and ISIS fighters.
Turkey and the U.S. have both voiced their support for increased cooperation moving forward.