The United States government has been clear that its coalition’s goal and focus in northern Syria is fighting Islamic State (IS) and not changing the map in Syria, an official said.
The State Department’s spokesman John Kirby said the US and Turkey continue to have conversations about how to bolster security in the region and achieve a common objective.
“And we’ve also said, been very clear that we’re not interested in doing anything that is going to change the territorial integrity of Syria,” Kirby said, asserting that no effort would be made by coalition forces to change the territorial integrity of Syria.
“The mission here hasn’t changed,” he said. “It’s about degrading and destroying IS.”
He added that the coalition would continue to support fighters – not only Kurdish, but also Arab and Turkmen – on the ground in northern Syria, who are “willing and effective partners … executing operations against IS.”
“That’s the goal, not changing the map of Syria,” he stressed.
Last month, Turkey agreed to allow US-led coalition forces to launch airstrikes against IS positions from Incirlik, which is located close to Turkey’s border with Syria.
The US began flying armed missions from the strategic air base in southeastern Turkey last week, and carried out the first unmanned airstrike from the facility last Tuesday.
Over the weekend, the US sent a contingent of six F-16s, and 300 American personnel to the base.