Kurdish Forces Retreating East of Euphrates River in Syria - Turkish Deputy PM
A major part of Syrian Kurdish troops is moving to the east of the Euphrates River. Ankara considers this change important for security in the region.
ANKARA (Sputnik) – A large part of the Syrian Kurdish forces operating near the Manbij city is moving to the east of the Euphrates River in Syria, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Monday.
"A significant part of the Kurdish self-defense forces near the Syrian city of Manbij is retreating to the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The militants are leaving the city. This is a very important and positive event for Turkey. We do not stand against the Kurdish brothers, who live in northern Syria. However, at the same time, we know that the creation by terrorist groups of the Syrian Kurds of a corridor will lead to an actual collapse of Syria, like it was in Iraq," Kurtulmus said at a press conference in Ankara.
According to Kurtulmus, Ankara will not allow such a scenario to happen and will interfere in the situation.
On August 24, Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarablus and the surrounding area of Daesh, outlawed in Russia and many other countries. Ankara also pledged to continue the operation until the threat allegedly posed by Kurdish militants active in the area is eliminated.
Syrian Kurds and Damascus have accused Ankara of violating the territorial integrity of the country. Earlier in September, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Syrian Kurdish militia would become a target for Turkish forces unless they move east of the Euphrates.
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