Erdogan says he will meet with Putin over USA withdrawal from Syria

Share

US President Donald Trump shocked his allies and critics when he declared ISIS defeated in Syria and he was bringing American troops home.

He did not say when the meeting would happen, but Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, announced that he will travel to Russian Federation in the coming days to discuss Syria, according to CNN Turk. Turkey considers the group a terrorist organization and has pledged to eliminate it.

The council noted that they have "lost many martyrs" fighting under the banner of the SDF because "we believe that it is our duty as Syriac Christians to stand together with the Kurds and Arabs to fight and resist all radical religious terrorist groups and other invaders".

While little has changed on the ground yet - US forces are still deployed and Trump says the pullout will be slow - Kurdish officials are scrambling for a strategy to protect their region from Turkey before the United States leaves. Cavusoglu told Turkish media during a briefing that Ankara has "the power to neutralise (IS) alone" amid fears that a USA pull-out will hurt the fight against Islamic State.

The complete withdrawal of American troops from Syria also means that Washington is calling it quits unilaterally on stepping up pressure on the Assad regime.

"We, as the Syrian Turkmen Assembly, the only legitimate representatives of Syrian Turkmen, do not recognise this declaration", said the Assembly President Muhammad Wajih Juma, referring to a letter released by pro-YPG sources that rejected Turkey's cross-border operation. Cavusoglu hit out at French "support" of the YPG, which he said was "no secret" as he slammed French officials' meetings with leaders of the SDF's political wing last week.

During the December 25 news briefing, Cavusoglu warned France that it would not gain in any way by retaining forces to protect a Kurdish militia in Syria, after Paris announced it would maintain a presence despite the US withdrawal. "We are not willing to accept an Iranian entrenchment in Syria that is directed against us".

More news: Magnitude 4.8 natural disaster in Italy causes damages, injuries
More news: GoFundMe looks to raise money for 'ladders' at border wall
More news: Mueller memo denies Flynn was coerced into lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation

The remarks came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was impossible to seal the S-400 agreement with Turkey in dollar.

Critics of Trump's move fear that thousands of IS members could make gains in Syria, despite the United States leader's claim that the group had been defeated.

Iraq on Monday said it was considering sending troops across the border into Syria to defend the frontier from the threat of ISIS fighters.

"Any new military operations by Turkey could, therefore, be met with resistance from an alliance between Esad and PYD/YPG".

Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters have been moving to the outskirts of Manbij and the Turkish army continues to dispatch tanks, artillery and other equipment to the border and an area administered by Turkey in northwestern Syria, according to Turkish media reports.

He subsequently said the U.S. withdrawal would be coordinated with Turkey, who would take over the reins of the war on ISIS.

Share