Erdogan Vows to Continue Operation in Syria Until Kurds Leave Manbij
19:18 04.04.2018(updated 19:24 04.04.2018)
ANKARA (Sputnik) - Turkey will continue its operation in Syria until Kurdish forces leave Syria's Manbij region, the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
"I would like to repeat that unless we ensure security in all the regions controlled by the YPG [the Kurdish People's Protection Units] first of all, in Manbij, we will not stop," Erdogan said at the trilateral Russia-Turkey-Iran summit on Syria.
The president noted that the three guarantor states' leaders agreed on the necessity to preserve Syria's territorial integrity. He mentioned that they also had worked out some steps on Syrian settlement, however, without providing details.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Erdogan held their second trilateral meeting on Syrian settlement in Ankara. Iran, Russia, and Turkey are the three guarantor states of the ceasefire in Syria, which has been mired in a violent civil war since 2011, and active participants of the Astana format of the Syrian reconciliation.
On March 28, the Turkish National Security Council warned that Ankara would push its operation in the northern district of Afrin further to Manbij, if the Kurdish YPG forces, supported by the United States, did not leave the region. Turkey considers YPG militia to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara.
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