THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CRISIS OF WASHINGTON AND ANKARA .. AMERICA TRAINS TURKISH FORCES IN SYRIA
The US Voice of America said that US forces are scheduled to begin training their Turkish counterparts on joint operations near the Syrian city of Manbij in the next three days, according to US Defense Secretary James Matisse.
"The training can begin within 72 hours, and it could be before that," Matisse said, speaking to reporters on a military operation on Thursday.
Matisse said US training equipment and training officers are now in Turkey.
This training is necessary before US and Turkish forces begin to integrate their troops and military patrols.
Now, the two countries' military forces are conducting separate patrols but in coordination, according to the Pentagon.
The Pentagon says the purpose of the patrols is to support "long-term security in Manbeg" and to stick to US commitments to NATO ally Turkey.
A court in the Turkish province of Izmir on Friday rejected a request for the release of US priest Andrew Brunson, who is under house arrest, the official Anatolia news agency reported.
Brunson, who is on trial for spying and other terrorism-related charges, was detained in October 2016 and arrested in December of the same year following a failed coup.
The dispute over his imprisonment has heightened tensions between Ankara and Washington, among other issues. The two countries imposed sanctions on each other, in addition to increasing tariffs