Turkey Admits It Will Strike the Kurds
BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on developments in and related to Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States decided to its withdraw troops from Syria after he reassured U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey could eradicate the remnants of Islamic State group from the country with just logistical help from Washington.
Addressing a business meeting in Istanbul Friday, Erdogan said Turkey would work on plans to conduct operations to eliminate both IS and Syrian Kurdish militants from the region.
"We will be working on our operational plans to eliminate IS elements, which are said to remain intact in Syria, in line with our conversation with President Trump."
"We will adopt an operational style geared toward eliminating (Kurdish militia) and (IS) remnants," he added.
Erdogan welcomed Trump's troop withdrawal decision, calling it "the clearest and most encouraging statement" from Washington. He said however, that Turkey remained cautious citing "negative experiences of the past."
A senior Kurdish politician has called on France to play a stronger role in Syria following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country.
Ilham Ahmed also says France as a NATO member has a moral obligation to prevent Turkey from attacking Kurds.
Ahmed was in Paris on Friday as part of a delegation for talks on the planned U.S. military withdrawal from Syria as well as Turkey's threats to launch a military operation against Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria.
Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Ahmed said the Kurds may have to withdraw from the front lines with the Islamic State group in eastern Syria to deploy along the Turkish border following Turkish threats.
President Donald Trump's abrupt call on U.S. troops to leave Syria has left America's only allies in the country in the lurch