Turkey urges US to ensure Kurdish withdrawal to east of Euphrates

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Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tanju Bilgic speaks to reporters in Ankara.

Turkey renewed its call on the US to ensure the complete withdrawal of Syrian Kurdish militia the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij to the east of the Euphrates River, a demand that Ankara says has not yet been completely met by the Kurdish forces despite a pledge to do so.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic said Turkey expects the US to fulfill its earlier pledge to keep YPG forces east of the Euphrates. Speaking to reporters in Ankara about the ongoing Turkish military intervention called Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria, he said the offensive will continue as long as it needed to eliminate terrorist threats to Turkey’s national security.

As Turkey-backed rebels and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are dominated by Kurdish militia, have been clashing south of Jarabulus for days, the US recently said it does not support the Turkish military’s foray further south, which would probably increase the likelihood of an all-out fight between Turkey and Kurdish forces.

An SDF commander said a truce has been reached between Turkey and the group, while rebels denied any halt in the fighting, according to a report by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

Bilgic also shrugged off US remarks about the Turkish offensive and said those comments do not sit well with cooperation between allies.

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