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Turkey Not Tolerate Any Delay on Syria Safe Zone: Erdogan

Turkey Will Not Tolerate Any Delay on Syria Safe Zone: Erdogan

ISTANBUL – Turkey will not allow the United States to delay its plan to set up a “safe zone” in northeast Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said insisting the deal reached with Washington was still the correct step to take.
A CNN Turk report on Thursday quoted Erdogan as saying that Ankara is not ready to accept any delay on the plan, just like the earlier deal with Washington that was for removing the Kurdish YPG fighters from Manbij.
“We will never tolerate a delay like we saw in Manbij. The process must advance rapidly,” Erdogan said.
Turkey’s president of communications also stated in a declaration that early on Thursday Erdogan talked with US President Donald Trump about recent events in the province of Idlib in Syria.
Last weekend, Ankara announced that the suggested joint operating centers along the southwest frontier of Syria was now fully operational.
Washington and Ankara have been at odds over plans for the region, where the Kurdish YPG militia form the main part of a US-backed force fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS).
Turkey considers the YPG a “terrorist” organisation.
“The agreement which we have reached with the USA is a correct step towards establishing a safe zone and removing the YPG from the east of the Euphrates (river),” Erdogan told reporters on his way back from meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The safe zone was proposed last year by Trump, who had announced plans to withdraw US special forces from northern Syria, but later suspended the plan to ensure Washington’s Kurdish allies would be protected.
Erdogan said this week Turkish ground troops would enter the planned safe zone “very soon”, having warned previously that Turkey would mount a cross-border offensive on its own to clear the YPG militia from its border if necessary.
“All the personnel, the armoured carriers, all are on the border. That is, we are in a position to do everything at any moment,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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