• Live
    • Audio Only
  • google plus
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • A Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighter walks near Ras al Ain Town, Syria Oct. 19, 2019.

    A Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighter walks near Ras al Ain Town, Syria Oct. 19, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 October 2019

Ankara regards the YPG, the main component of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as a terrorist group because of its links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey.

Turkey and Russia will discuss the removal of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the northern Syrian towns of Manbij and Kobani during talks in Sochi next week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Sunday.

RELATED:

Erdogan Throws Trump's Syria Letter in the Trash

Turkey paused its military offensive into northeastern Syria after President Tayyip Erdogan agreed on Thursday, in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, a five-day ceasefire to allow the YPG to withdraw from a "safe zone" Ankara aims to establish near its border.

The truce is also aimed at easing a crisis triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump's abrupt decision this month to withdraw all 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside U.S. troops against Islamic State group.

Syrian President Bashar Assad has deployed his forces in territory formerly protected by Washington, invited by the Kurds. Erdogan, who has backed rebels fighting to oust Assad, has said Turkey has no problem with Syrian government forces deploying near the border.

Speaking at an interview with broadcaster Kanal 7 on Sunday, Cavusoglu said urgent talks between Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin would be held next week.

"We will discuss the removal of the YPG terrorists from our borders, namely Manbij and Kobani, with the Russians," Cavusoglu said.

"We believe we can reach an agreement with them to work together in the future, just like we have before."

Ankara regards the YPG, the main component of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as a terrorist group because of its links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey. The YPG has been a close U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State group.

The SDF and Damascus struck a deal this month to counter the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria, prompting Syrian army forces to deploy in Manbij and Kobani, towns of strategic importance given their location on the Syrian border with Turkey.

While Erdogan and Putin have forged close ties over defense and energy cooperation, Moscow has said the Turkish offensive into Syria was "unacceptable" and should be limited.

Erdogan on Saturday said he would also discuss Syrian army deployment in northern Syria with Putin, saying the two needed to find a solution to the matter. But he warned that "we will continue to implement our own plans" if a solution could not be reached, without elaborating.

Comment
0
Comments
Post with no comments.