Erdoğan says Ankara remains open to all cooperation offers regarding Manbij

The United States should withdraw Kurdish militants from the east of the Euphrates river in Syria if it wants to cooperate with Turkey, Erdoğan said
Friday, 16 March 2018 19:03

After finalizing the establishment of observer points in Syria’s Idlib province, the Turkish army could head to the Manbij region, which is under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 16.

The United States should withdraw Kurdish militants from the east of the Euphrates river in Syria if it wants to cooperate with Turkey, Erdoğan said. 

Speaking at a congress for his ruling AKP party in the northeastern province of Erzurum, Erdoğan also said Ankara remained open to all cooperation offers regarding the Syrian town of Manbij, but was unsure what approach incoming U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have on the issue.

"Then we are open to all kinds of cooperation proposals," Erdoğan said. "The U.S. made a proposal [on Manbij]. But we don’t know which path the new staff will follow," he said.

"Turkey has largely resolved the Afrin issue. We have secured control over three quarters of Afrin," Erdoğan also said.

Turkish army officially declared on January 20 the launch of an offensive targeting the positions of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People's Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin region in northwest Syria. The Turkish AKP government's excuse was the threat against national interests and border security. 

The operation has been conducted jointly with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist group.