October 11, 2019 / 2:05 PM / a month ago

Need to de-escalate situation in northeast Syria before it becomes "irreparable": Pentagon

WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told his Turkish counterpart they need to find a way to deescalate the situation in northeastern Syria before it becomes “irreparable” and said Turkey’s incursion risks serious consequences for Ankara, the Pentagon said on Friday.

“While the Secretary reaffirmed (that) we value our strategic bilateral relationship, this incursion risks serious consequences for Turkey,” Esper told Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, according to a Pentagon statement, adding that Turkey’s actions could harm U.S. personnel in Syria.

“As part of the call, Secretary Esper strongly encouraged Turkey to discontinue actions in northeastern Syria in order to increase the possibility that the United States, Turkey and our partners could find a common way to de-escalate the situation before it becomes irreparable,” Esper said.

The call took place on Thursday, the Pentagon statement added. (Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Alison Williams)

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