True, both sides discussed the possible operation months before it was launched. In fact, the Turks apparently raised the issue in June 2015, but the US "did not believe Turkey's plan [was] feasible," an unnamed senior military source told newspaper Hurriyet last week.
Washington seems to have warmed up to the initiative in recent months, but the US wanted to remove Kurdish forces from the conflict area. The White House was ready to conduct a high-level meeting on the possible operation on August 24, the Wall Street Journal reported, but by that time Turkey had already launched the ground offensive.
"Ankara pulled the trigger on the mission unilaterally, without giving officials in Washington advance warning," the newspaper noted, adding that Turkey conducted its first airstrikes against targets in Syria alone.
The US decided to provide air cover to the Turkish forces only after it understood that Operation Euphrates Shield was underway.
Early on August 24, the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim issued a statement saying that Turkey launched an operation to free the Syrian city of Jarablus that involved "the Turkish Armed Forces and the International Coalition Air Forces," referring to the US warplanes.
Hours later an unnamed US official told Reuters that the US Air Force would provide air cover for Operation Euphrates Shield, adding that Washington was "in synch" with Ankara's initiative.
Apparently, this is not how it went down.
"Behind the scenes, cooperation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners broke down at senior levels," the WSJ reported, citing unnamed officials from the US and Turkey. "The two countries weren't as aligned on the operation as their public statements indicated."
As a result, Turkey's operation undermined Washington's "behind-the-scenes" efforts to remove the Syrian Kurds from regions west of the Euphrates, something that Ankara has always seen as a red line.
Earlier this week, reports emerged that Turkey and the Syrian Kurds reached a tentative agreement to halt fighting, but EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik later denied these reports.
"Turkey is a sovereign country. Therefore, there can be no talk of Turkey reaching any sort of deal with a terrorist group, considering it an equal. Syrian defense forces are not pursuing the interests of ethnic Kurds, but rather their own," Celik told Anadolu news agency.