Number of arrested protesters over Operation Olive Branch reaches 666 in Turkey

Turkey questions seriousness of US in anti-terror fight

Turkish president's security and foreign policy adviser Ibrahim Kalin met with U.S. National Security Adviser Herbert Raymond McMaster in Istanbul over the weekend, while foreign and defense ministers of the two countries are scheduled to meet respectively in Ankara and Brussels in the coming days.

On Jan. 20, the Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Free Syrian Army, launched the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria.

"Ties with the United States have been at a very critical point", he added.

Turkey is targeting the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG in a weeks-long air and ground operation in Syria's Afrin region.

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The countries are at odds on various issues, with the biggest problem being US support for the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). "While discussing these issues, they addressed issues affecting bilateral relations in detail and explored ways to expand the joint fight against all forms of terrorism", the statement read.

"Turkey is an ally and we're going to work with them, but this current issue offensive is a distraction and we have to focus as allies on the mission at hand and that's defeating ISIS", Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he would tell Tillerson during his visit that the two countries must fix damaged mutual trust.

Washington recognizes the existence of "legitimate fears" for Ankara, but at the same time calls for the need to reduce the number of victims to the maximum extent possible, and seeks to get Turkey to "determine its long-term intentions" in Syria.

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