WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Selva further explained that while the Jarabulus operation is still "ongoing," the United States continues its relationship "with willing fighters in Syria, including Kurdish fighters… and we intend to keep doing so."
"We have supported our Turkish allies in their effort to secure their border," Selva stated at a defense forum at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
On Wednesday, Turkish troops, with US air support, launched "Euphrates Shield," described by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a military operation to neutralize the threat of both Daesh and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants in Syria.
Selva would not comment specifically on how US assistance to both the Turks and the Kurds in Syria will impact the complicated alliances, but noted the operation was carried out to secure the Jarabulus border crossing.
"We rendered assistance in their effort to retake that border crossing and to secure that area to deny ISIL [Daesh] the capacity to move fighters across the Turkish border with relative impunity," Selva explained.
The Syrian government and Syrian Kurds have objected to Ankara’s Euphrates Shield operation, arguing that it is a violation of Syrian territorial integrity by Turkish forces.