Former US Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey was named US special envoy to Syria on Friday, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
Jeffrey will be “coordinating policy on all aspects of the conflict in Syria and our support for a political solution,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “Ambassador Jeffrey’s distinguished diplomatic career makes him an outstanding choice for this role.”
“Pleased to swear in Jim Jeffrey as my Representative for Syria Engagement, coordinating policy on all aspects of the conflict in #Syria and our support for a political solution. Ambassador Jeffrey’s distinguished diplomatic career makes him an outstanding choice for this role,” Pompeo said on Twitter.
A senior Middle East expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Jeffrey stressed the importance of Turkish-American relations in the myriad panel discussions he participated in and said the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria were essentially the same organization.
The move came as the US also announced it will be redirecting $230 million in funding for Syria’s stabilization elsewhere as part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to extricate the US from the conflict in Syria.
Jeffrey previously served as ambassador to Turkey from 2008-2010 and as ambassador to Iraq from 2010-2012.