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Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria

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Erdogan says Turkey will never declare ceasefire in northern Syria

By Tuvan Gumrukcu

 

2019-10-15T222025Z_3_LYNXMPEF9E1WE_RTROPTP_4_SYRIA-SECURITY-TURKEY-ERDOGAN.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talks to journalists in Istanbul, Turkey, October 13, 2019. Murat Kula/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

 

ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan told U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northeastern Syria and that it will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.

 

Turkey pressed ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria's Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.

 

The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

 

On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

 

However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

 

"They say 'declare a ceasefire'. We will never declare a ceasefire," Erdogan said. "They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions," he said.

 

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that the goal of military operation "Peace Spring " in Syria was to 'eliminate terrorist groups' and PKK bases in northern Syria. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

 

Erdogan said he told Trump in a phone call earlier this week that he should send a U.S. delegation to Ankara to discuss their demands and try to reach an agreement. The White House said on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday.

 

Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria after a phone call with Erdogan not only cleared the way for the Turkish incursion, but it also gives a free hand to Washington's adversaries in the world's deadliest ongoing war, namely Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies.

 

Syrian army deployments into Kurdish-held territory mark a victory for Assad and Russia, giving them a foothold in the biggest remaining swathe of Syria that had been beyond their grasp through much of its eight-year-old war.

 

Asked about the deployment of Syrian forces to the northern town of Manbij, Erdogan, who has backed Syrian rebels fighting to oust Assad, said he was not bothered.

 

"The regime entering Manbij is not very negative for me. Why? It's their lands after all. But, what is important to me is that the terrorist organisation does not remain there," Erdogan said, referring to the YPG.

 

"I told this to Mr Putin as well. If you are clearing Manbij of terrorist organizations, then go ahead, you or the regime can provide all the logistics. But if you are not going to do this, the people there are telling us to save them," he added.

 

Erdogan also said that an attack from Manbij on Tuesday, which killed one Turkish soldier, was launched by the Syrian government, and that Turkey "made the regime pay a heavy price" in retaliation.

 

Separately, the Turkish presidency said late on Tuesday that Erdogan told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a phone call that Turkey's operation would contribute to counter-terrorism efforts, Syria's territorial integrity, and a political solution process.

 

(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)

 

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-10-16

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Turkey has fallen so far in such a short time. Just a pariah state now. Not much to be done though. It is something the region needs to sort out for itself. 

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Easy to blame one man for the world's troubles, but circumstances always produce the man. Leaders are as much of a symptom as a cause - and don't forget that Erdogan has a big majority in Turkey and this action will probably strengthen it. We need to ask what underlying circumstances have produced this situation, and address that at source.

 

We don't have to think about the Kurdish problem for more than a minute to realise that there's no solution other than compromise on both sides. As pride won't allow that, the only other solution is to maintain an uneasy status quo with occasional fighting (as per human nature), such as we see in many places (like Kashmir) - and that is what we are seeing now.

 

The real danger is that the world's bleeding hearts will take the Kurdish side - as they misguidedly took the Syrian 'rebels' side - and stoke another full-on war.

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9 minutes ago, JamesBlond said:

Easy to blame one man for the world's troubles, but circumstances always produce the man. Leaders are as much of a symptom as a cause - and don't forget that Erdogan has a big majority in Turkey and this action will probably strengthen it. We need to ask what underlying circumstances have produced this situation, and address that at source.

 

We don't have to think about the Kurdish problem for more than a minute to realise that there's no solution other than compromise on both sides. As pride won't allow that, the only other solution is to maintain an uneasy status quo with occasional fighting (as per human nature), such as we see in many places (like Kashmir) - and that is what we are seeing now.

 

The real danger is that the world's bleeding hearts will take the Kurdish side - as they misguidedly took the Syrian 'rebels' side - and stoke another full-on war.

star trek had the borg.....   "resistance is futile.  you will be assimilated."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borg

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Time to make Erdo and Turkey the Sick Man of Europe again.

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7 hours ago, Somtamnication said:

The worst possible Nato member; both him and Trump should be charged with war crimes.

You mean Hillary Clinton who voted for the Iraq war? Donald trump did the right thing to pull out, there’s no mission in Syria. Kurds been fighting each other and the Turks for decades. If you think 50 soldiers would have done anything, then think again. 

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17 minutes ago, Eric Loh said:

Russia will forever be thankful to Trump for vacating Syria for them and Turkey. Trump has been duped by Erdogan and Putin. 

Yep, makes one wonder (yet again) about the real motivations behind 45's actions. 

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