Russian FM: Putin to tell Erdogan Damascus should control all of Syria

16 January, 2019, 21:43 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Donald Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton during NATO Summit 2018.
Gints Ivuskans  shutterstock

Earlier, Erdogan, addressing lawmakers of his Justice and Development (AK) Party at the parliament, said he discussed with Trump the idea of a terror-free safe zone in northern Syria and informed the U.S. president that Turkey embraces all people in Syria without any discrimination. Failure to comply would "devastate Turkey economically", Trump warns.

Last month, the president announced that the United States would begin pulling out its 2,000 troops from Syria because IS had been "defeated".

Trump and Erdogan discussed the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria cleared of militia groups, the Turkish presidency said, without providing further detail.

"Also spoke about economic development between the US & Turkey - great potential to substantially expand!" he added.

"We are convinced that the best and only solution is the transfer of these territories under the control of the Syrian government, and of Syrian security forces and administrative structures", Lavrov said during his annual press briefing in the Russian capital Moscow.

U.S. forces, accompanied by Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters, drive their armored vehicles near the northern Syrian village of Darbasiyah, on the border with Turkey, April 28, 2017.

Erdogan said he had discussed a "security zone" which Turkey would set up in Syria during a phone call with US President Donald Trump, with the latter reaffirming the US troop pullout from Syria as well as "a 20-mile (32km) security zone along the Syrian border. will be set up by us [Turkey]".

USA support for the YPG during the Syria conflict has been a major source of friction between Ankara and Washington.

The US announced in December it will soon withdraw its 2,000 troops stationed in northern Syria, where they are supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the fight against ISIS.

"We also told him that the PKK/YPG tortures the groups in Syria that do not stand with them".

Reiterating that Erdogan had been voicing the same safe zone proposal for four years, Kalın said this time the same idea was floated at the top levels of the current United States administration, according to Daily Sabah.

The Turkish government considers the YPG an extension of the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has fought for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for three decades.

On Saturday, more than 600 people were evacuated from the remaining IS holdout in eastern Syria, a monitor said, as US-backed fighters prepare for a final assault on the area.

Turkey has threatened to attack the YPG in the Syrian city of Manbij. He added that the Turkish military would coordinate their actions with locals.



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