ANKARA, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Turkey and Russia will talk about the elimination of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia from the northern Syrian cities of Manbij and Kobani throughout talks in Sochi subsequent week, Turkish Overseas Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated on Sunday.
Turkey paused its military offensive into northeastern Syria after President Tayyip Erdogan agreed on Thursday, in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, a five-day ceasefire to permit the YPG to withdraw from a “secure zone” Ankara goals to determine close to its border.
The truce can also be aimed toward easing a disaster triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump’s abrupt determination this month to withdraw all 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria, a transfer criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside U.S. troops in opposition to Islamic State.
However Trump’s transfer additionally means the extent of Turkey’s ambitions within the area is more likely to be decided by Russia and Iran, who each assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and wish to fill the vacuum created by the U.S. retreat.
Assad has already deployed his forces in territory previously protected by Washington, invited by the Kurds. Erdogan, who has backed rebels combating to oust Assad, has stated Turkey has no downside with Syrian authorities forces deploying close to the border.
Talking at an interview with broadcaster Kanal 7 on Sunday, Cavusoglu stated pressing talks between Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin could be held subsequent week.
“We are going to talk about the elimination of the YPG terrorists from our borders, specifically Manbij and Kobani, with the Russians,” Cavusoglu stated.
“We imagine we are able to attain an settlement with them to work collectively sooner or later, identical to now we have earlier than.”
Ankara regards the YPG, the principle element of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as a terrorist group due to its hyperlinks to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey. The YPG has been a detailed U.S. ally within the struggle in opposition to Islamic State.
The SDF and Damascus struck a deal this month to counter the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria, prompting Syrian military forces to deploy in Manbij and Kobani, cities of strategic significance given their location on the Syrian border with Turkey.
Whereas Erdogan and Putin have cast shut ties over protection and power cooperation, Moscow has stated the Turkish offensive into Syria was “unacceptable” and needs to be restricted.
Erdogan on Saturday stated he would additionally talk about Syrian military deployment in northern Syria with Putin, saying the 2 wanted to discover a resolution to the matter. However he warned that “we are going to proceed to implement our personal plans” if an answer couldn’t be reached, with out elaborating.
Russian officers had spoken to Assad on Friday about the necessity to de-escalate the scenario in northeast Syria, Russia’s overseas ministry stated on Saturday.
The shock deal to droop Turkey’s army offensive in Syria hinged on Erdogan’s demand that Washington agrees on a time restrict on any ceasefire, a senior Turkish official instructed Reuters on Friday.
The deal goals to stem a humanitarian disaster that has displaced 200,000 civilians within the area and on the similar time ease safety issues over 1000’s of Islamic State captives guarded by the YPG.
Although the delicate truce held for the primary two days of the settlement, Turkey’s protection ministry stated on Sunday that one Turkish soldier was killed and one other was wounded after a YPG assault with anti-tank and light-weight arms hit troopers on a reconnaissance and surveillance mission in northeast Syria’s Tel Abyad.
It stated Turkish forces had responded to the assault and that 20 acts violating the deal have been dedicated by the YPG because the begin of the truce.
A separate assertion from the ministry late on Saturday stated convoy of 39 autos had entered and exited the border city of Ras al Ain to evacuate injured folks.
On Friday the Kurdish militia accused Turkey of violating the five-day pause by shelling civilian areas within the northeast. A senior Turkish official denied the accusations and stated they have been an try to sabotage the truce.
Nevertheless, Erdogan warned on Saturday that Turkey would resume the offensive and “crush the heads of terrorists” if the settlement faltered, with Turkey insisting it’s Washington’s responsibility to make sure the withdrawal of the YPG.
Cavusoglu reiterated that warning on Saturday, saying the offensive would proceed if U.S. guarantees weren’t stored. He stated Turkey didn’t need to see “a single terrorist” left within the “secure zone” by the tip of the 5 days.
Turkey’s protection ministry stated late on Saturday that it was monitoring the withdrawal of the YPG and was in shut contact with U.S. officers to offer logistical info.
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