ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Turkey has denied that a truce has been reached between its army and local forces in Jarablus.
The Turkish military has not agreed to a ceasefire with Kurdish forces in northern Syria, Reuters reported.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said on Tuesday, “We are waiting to see if the US is committed to its promise that after the Manbij operation no member of the PYD [Democratic Union Party] or YPG [Peoples Protection Units] would stay in the west of Euphrates.”
“The goal of the Euphrates Shield operation is clear,” he continued. “The operation was done according to international laws to protect our sovereignty, and respect for the unity of Syria. The operation will continue as long as terror from that area worries Turkish citizens,” he said, referring to shelling of Turkish border towns from territory controlled by the Islamic State in Syria.
The truce was earlier announced by a representative of the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) and confirmed by a US military official.
“We have reached a temporary ceasefire between the Jarablus Military Council and the occupying Turkish army in the Jarablus area under the supervision of the global coalition,” announced Polat Can, the Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) representative to the global anti-ISIS coalition, early Tuesday evening on Twitter.
A US military spokesperson also confirmed the truce, according to AFP.
"In the last several hours, we have received assurance that all parties involved are going to stop shooting at each other and focus on the ISIL [ISIS, Islamic State] threat," said Colonel John Thomas, Central Command spokesman.
"It's a loose agreement for at least the next couple of days and we are hoping that will solidify."
The Jarablus Military Council issued a statement Tuesday evening confirming that a truce was being implemented.
“After intensive consulting and under global coalition supervision lead by the US, we have reached a temporary cease fire, and have started to implement the deal since the middle of last night between our forces and Turkish occupying forces. There are efforts from the supervising party to make the cease-fire permanent in Jarablus,” reads the statement.
“As announced, the ceasefire does not mean we accept Turkish occupation in Jarablus in any form,” the Council added.
Several American political and military leaders have condemned Turkey’s clashes with Kurdish forces in northern Syria and called on all forces to refocus on the real threat, the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL).
On Monday, Ash Carter, US Defense Secretary, said the US had called on Turkey “to stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian Defense Forces (SDF), and we have had a number of contacts over the last several days.”
Peter Cook, Pentagon press secretary, echoed Carter later on Monday, saying, "We want to make clear that we find these clashes unacceptable and they are a source of deep concern.”
US forces initially supported Ankara when Turkey saw an opportunity to combat ISIS in Jarablus and they supported the Turkish army in that offensive. But, “When they began to focus on something other than ISIL, then we had to withdraw our support for that,” said General Joseph Votel, Commander of the United States Central Command, at a press briefing in the Pentagon on Tuesday.