Turkey won’t budge on Syrian Kurds
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 1/08/19, 10:46 am
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected efforts by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday to seek the safety of Kurdish allies in northeastern Syria. Bolton, during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ibrahim Kalin, in Ankara, reiterated U.S. President Donald Trump’s demand that Turkey avoid targeting Kurdish forces as the United States withdraws its troops from Syria. The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) help the U.S. military combat Islamic State (ISIS) militants in the region, but Turkey regards the group’s members as terrorists.
In a rebuttal shortly after Bolton and Kalin’s meeting, Erdogan said his country’s plan for a new military offensive against Syrian terror groups, including the YPG, is “to an extent” complete. “We cannot make any concessions,” he said during a Tuesday speech before the Turkish Parliament. “If there are other terrorists who would attempt to intervene in our intervention, then it is our duty to eliminate them as well.”
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.