Erdogan Says US is Not Fulfilling Agreement to Withdraw Kurds

Featured Erdogan Says US is Not Fulfilling Agreement to Withdraw Kurds

“While we hold these talks, those who promised us that the YPG...would withdraw from here within 120 hours have not achieved this,” he told a news conference, referring to a deadline set in last month’s agreement.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan stated on Thursday that the U.S. Coalition was not fulfilling its part of the agreement to withdraw the Kurdish forces from the Turkish-Syrian border region. 

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During a news conference on Thursday, Erdogan criticized the U.S. forces in northern Syria, vowing to bring up the topic to U.S. President Donald Trump when they meet next week.

Erdogan is set to discuss implementation of the agreement with Trump in Washington on Nov. 13, after confirming that the visit would go ahead following a phone call between the leaders overnight.

“While we hold these talks, those who promised us that the YPG...would withdraw from here within 120 hours have not achieved this,” he told a news conference, referring to a deadline set in last month’s agreement.

Turkish officials had previously said Erdogan might call off the U.S. visit in protest at U.S. House of Representatives’ votes to recognize mass killings of Armenians a century ago as genocide and to seek sanctions on Turkey.

A month ago, Turkey launched a cross-border offensive with Syrian rebels against Kurdish YPG fighters. After seizing control of a 120-km (75-mile) swathe of territory, it reached a deal with the United States to keep them out of that area.

After the deal with Washington, Ankara also reached an agreement with Moscow under which the YPG was to withdraw to a depth of 30 km along the entirety of the northeastern Syrian border with Turkey.

But Erdogan said this deal had also not been fulfilled, with YPG fighters still in the border strip, adding that he would hold talks with Putin soon on the issue.

A senior U.S. State Department official said late on Wednesday there has been fighting in the area southeast of Syria’s border town of Ras al-Ain. It “is somewhat in dispute” whether the area is covered by the U.S. or Russian deals.

“The YPG and all armed forces have certainly withdrawn from the vast majority of our area,” the official said. “Erdogan is never all that specific in his broadside attacks on us or anybody else.”

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