US military commanders have been briefed on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s comments and decided not to comment on them, said Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning on Monday.
The spokesman also said Erdogan spoke positions on held by US President Donald Trump of which the Pentagon had no knowledge of at the current time, according to statements carried on US-backed Al Hurra channel.
Manning stressed that the Pentagon sees alarming risks if Turkey decides to launch ground military incursions into Syria.
The Pentagon has expressed grave concern, saying unilateral military action by any party in northeast Syria – where US forces operate – would be “unacceptable”.
Earlier in the day, Erdogan suggested that Trump was more receptive to Turkish plans to move east of the Euphrates River than his own US Defense Department.
“We officially announced that we will start a military operation to the east of the Euphrates, “Erdogan said in a speech in the central province of Konya. “We discussed this with Mr Trump and he gave a positive response.”
Turkey and the United States have long been at odds over Syria policy, where Washington has backed the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia against ISIS. Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist organization tied to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an outlawed group that has waged a three-decade insurgency in southeast Turkey.