Cavusoglu, Tillerson holding talks in Ankara

Cavusoglu, Tillerson holding talks in Ankara

A PYD/PKK terrorist in Afrin, Syria admitted Thursday to dressing as a civilian to avoid being attacked by Turkish and Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces.

Tillerson arrived in Turkey on Thursday for two days of what officials said would likely be uncomfortable discussions between the allies.

"We are not going to act alone any longer, not the United States doing one thing, Turkey doing another", said Tillerson who, according to CNN, earlier broke protocol by meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan without an American translator or policy aides.

Washington has warned that Turkey's operation against the People's Protection Units (YPG) Kurdish militia in the Afrin region of Syria risks distracting from the fight against militants.

Turkey has become increasingly angry over America's military support for the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

The U.S. considers the Syrian Kurdish fighters the most effective fighting force in the battle to defeat IS in Syria, and this week offered a budget plan that would send them the bulk of $550 million in new assistance.

Assad has described US-sponsored Kurdish armed elements as "traitors" to the nation but has also denounced Turkish incursions as an act of aggression.

Tillerson also said that the US recognizes Turkey's legitimate right to secure its borders, but reiterated Washington's call for Ankara to show restraint in its operation in Syria's Afrin.

Tillerson has stated that the USA "will continue to train local security forces, taking care however, not to pose a threat to neighbouring countries".

Analysts say the level of tension was similar to 2003 when Turkey refused to let USA troops operate from its territory for the Iraq war, or even the aftermath of Ankara's invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

Ankara has long called for YPG forces to move east of the Euphrates river in Syria. Tillerson said priority will be given to the issue of Manbij as the two sides work together.

And Washington has expressed concern that several of its citizens-as well as at least two Turkish employees of United States missions-have been caught up in the post-coup crackdown.

"They tell us, 'Don't come to Manbij.' We will come to Manbij to hand over these territories to their rightful owners", Erdogan said in February.

He said Mattis had promised greater support in Turkey's fight against the PKK in their rear bases in northern Iraq.

The Turkish operation in Afrin, which has been ongoing since January 20, has strained relations between Ankara and its major North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, the US.