Erdogan questions United States presence in Syria

Randolph Lopez
March 10, 2018

Kurdish militias in Iraq and Syria were allied with the US-led coalition, which rallied them for operations targeting the jihadist forces of the terrorist group, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday that Turkey and the U.S. agreed on Manbij and the east of Euphrates, adding that the issues will be discussed during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 19.

"We are in Afrin today, we will be in Manbij tomorrow".

But the operation has ratcheted up tensions with the United States, pitting Turkey's army against a militia force allied with its fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member in the battle against Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

Cavusoglu warned against the PKK members' advance to the Sulaymaniyah and Kirkuk provinces of northern Iraq, establishing canton-like structures in Iraq as Syrian Kurds did in Syria.

The YPG forms the bulk of the SDF.

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The president also said an area extending to 815 square kilometers has been "made safe".

The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army captured Jinderes town in Syria's northwestern Afrin district from People's Protection Units (YPG) militants on March 8, the Turkish army has announced, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

In his speech on March 9, Erdoğan also stated that 3,171 YPG militants have been "neutralized" since the beginning of "Operation Olive Branch" on January 20. The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on worldwide law, U.N. Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the U.N. Charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.

The military also said only terror targets were being destroyed and "utmost care" was being taken to not harm civilians. He predicted the invasion of Afrin, in northern Syria, would be completed by then.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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