Turkey won’t enter Kobani: Erdogan to Trump

Washington/Tehran, Oct 16 (IANS) | Publish Date: 10/16/2019 11:40:03 AM IST

Turkeys president promised the United States leader that Turkish forces would not enter the Kurdish enclave of Kobani, located on the border with Turkish territory, said a US Senator.

“I was part of a phone call yesterday between President Erdogan and President Trump where President Trump received a commitment from the President of Turkey to stay away from the Kobani area to prevent further escalation in Syria,” US Senator Lindsey Graham - one of the main supporters of the US president in the Senate - said on Twitter, Efe news reported.

“If Turkey continues to move and take Kurdish areas around Kobani, I will take this as a breach of President Erdogan’s promise and a major escalation,” the Republican lawmaker said. “I am certain Congress and the Administration will hold Erdogan personally responsible for any atrocities committed in and around Kobani,” he added. “My advice to Turkey is stop before you completely destroy the relationship between the United States and Turkey.”

US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Ankara in the next 24 hours to negotiate a ceasefire that will end Turkey’s military operations against the Kurds in the north of Syria, Trump announced Tuesday.

A senior US official declined to detail in statements to journalists if Pence would meet with Erdogan and simply said that the purpose of the trip was to negotiate a ceasefire and show the Turkish government that the US was upset with its offensive in northern Syria.

The Turkish offensive, which began October 9, is directed against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) that Turkey considers terrorists, but are allies of Washington in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

Trump already demanded Erdogan on Monday declare a ceasefire during a telephone conversation.

On Monday, in another call, the US president also informed his objective to the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazlum Abdi, whose organization brings together the YPG and other armed groups, said the official.

Erdogan said Monday that he would continue with his plans to take control of a strip of territory across northeastern Syria, despite the announcement that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has sent troops to curb the offensive.

The Turkish president assured that he had spoken with the Russian executive and that he had given his approval to expand the offensive towards Kobani and the Manbech region.

“It looks like Turkey’s operation won’t have any problems in Syria’s Ayn al-Arab as Russia also showed a positive approach,” Erdogan said.

Iran urges Turkey to stop military offensive in Syria

Iran on Wednesday urged Turkey to end its military operation in northern Syria.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that all the relevant concerns in the border region of the two countries should be addressed through Adana agreement, Xinhua reported. He also called for the protections of civilians against any “unnecessary suffering”.

Based on Adana agreement, Syria is committed to rejecting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is considered as a terror group by Turkey, EU and the US, and to prohibiting its operation against Turkey from Syrian soil.

Damascus would cooperate with Ankara in taking measures to assure that the PKK would no longer be welcome in Syria, according to the Adana agreement.

Following recent US withdrawal from northern Syria, Turkish soldiers have launched an assault on Kurdish fighters, whom Turkey considers as “terrorists” in northern Syria.

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