Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has voiced Turkey’s “frustration” regarding two resolutions that passed in the U.S. House during a meeting with a delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Kalın criticized the U.S. House for voting to recognize the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as a genocide and for passing a resolution calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria.
Relations between Turkey and the U.S. deteriorated rapidly following the former’s military offensive in northern Syria, even though it was made possible by Trump’s announcement to withdraw U.S. troops from the region.
Ankara launched its incursion in order to clear the country’s border from militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and to establish a “safe zone” for the return of over one million Syrian refugees.
Following the offensive, Trump became under bipartisan fire for allowing Turkey to target the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) due to it being Washington’s main ally in the fight against ISIS.
The YPG is the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.
Ankara has repeatedly urged Washington to not work with the SDF.
During the meeting between Kalın and the U.S. delegation, regional issues, bilateral relations and the “safe zone” was also discussed, a statement released by the presidency said, adding that Turkey’s “rightful struggle” against the PKK, YPG and ISIS will “continue with determination.”