Turkey ends military operation inside northern Syria

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However, when asked whether US support for the YPG would continue, Tillerson - a former oil industry executive with no background in diplomacy - stuck to generalities, saying only that he discussed with Turkish officials how stability in Syria could be achieved and how the local people could return to their homes. The cleric lives in the USA and has been a flashpoint for frictions between the two countries.

"I think the. longer term status of president Assad will be decided by the Syrian people", Tillerson told a news conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Tillerson said his discussions in Turkey, which included a two-hour meeting with Erdogan, had been "frank". These are not easy decisions. The PKK is fighting for self rule inside Turkey and is labeled a terror group by the Turkish government, the European Union and the United States alike.

It is particularly frustrated by the use of YPG fighters in a planned USA -led offensive to retake Islamic State's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, an operation in which Ankara has long said it wants to play a role.

The problem is that Turkey considers the YPG a bitter enemy - part of a Kurdish separatist organization that Erdogan's government has branded terrorists. Ankara has sent boxes of what it calls clear and convincing evidence of Gulen's involvement to Washington, but complains that the Justice Department hasn't acted on its extradition request, either under the Obama or Trump administrations. Turkey accuses the Muslim cleric living in self-exile of ordering last year's failed coup against Erdogan. But the U.S. has not extended that designation to the Kurds in Syria, and American military officials have said there's no evidence the YPG has posed a threat to Turkey in recent years. Tillerson condemned recent PKK attacks in Turkey but made no such acknowledgement.

The Turkish government's frustration has also fueled significant anti-American sentiment among ordinary Turks, many of whom appear to believe that Gulen is, or was, a Central Intelligence Agency asset.

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Tillerson also did not meet with any of Erdogan's political opponents, because there was no time in his schedule, US officials said.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Turkish officials on Thursday discussed ways to coordinate the fight against the Daesh group in Iraq and Syria, a day after Turkey said it has ended a military operation in northern Syria.

Turkish officials hope relations will improve under Trump and have said Washington appears to be taking the Gulen issue "more seriously".

Something may have changed this week, however. "Any operation following this one will have a different name", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told NTV television.

Yildirim said the embassy statement was not enough. But the embassy said the call was "far from suspicious" and was made to inform the suspect, Adil Oksuz, that his US visa had been revoked at the behest of Turkish authorities.

A former assistant professor at Sakarya University in northwest Turkey, Oksuz was said to be FETO's so-called "imam" to members within the Turkish Air Force. Obviously, Turkey does not want a confrontation with Russian Federation or the USA, but at the same time it is likely to pursue its interests and maintain its red lines regarding the Kurds.