US recognizes Turkey’s right to protect citizens

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday Washington recognizes and fully appreciates Turkey’s legitimate right to protect its citizens from terrorist elements.

His remarks came during a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in London.

He said the Daesh terror group in Syria had been defeated.

“So we are concerned about the Turkish incidents in northern Syria,” Tillerson said.

“We recognize and fully appreciate Turkey’s legitimate right to protect its own citizens from terrorist elements that may be launching attacks against Turkish citizens on Turkish soil from Syria,” he added, also urging all sides to show restraint.

Tillerson said he was in talks with Ankara and the leadership of the US-led coalition in Syria, adding that he was hoping to address Turkey’s “legitimate concerns”.

Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.