Trump positive on military plan to push east in Syria, Erdoğan says

Turkish president Erdoğan said that he talked to the US President Trump and he approved the operation on the east of the Euphrates, while his interior minister stated that the US will try to besiege Turkey in that area
Monday, 17 December 2018 15:15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Monday that his US counterpart Donald Trump had approved of the prospective military operation that Ankara was planning to launch in Syria against Kurdish forces on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river in Syria.

"We talked with Mr. Trump. These terrorists must leave the east of the Euphrates. If they don't, we will make them. They're disturbing us by the corridor of terror," he said. 

Although Erdoğan said that Ankara could start an operation "at any moment", he appeared to indicate there was room for negotiation with the US.

"Since we are strategic partners with America, then we must do what is necessary," said Erdoğan. But he added that the US "must fulfil promises" without giving further detail.

"We can start the operations along the 500-kilometer borderline on the Syrian territory any time in a way that will not harm the US soldiers", he added.

Within the same day, in a different place, Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu commented about the recent operation plan and the attitude of the US from a different angle. "We started the Euphrates Shield operation, the US did not say 'do it'. We started the Olive Branch operations, the US threatened us", he said.

Referring to the US, Soylu stated that "they tried to deter us with the help of the groups they fed. They tried to create an international siege". Arguing that the US is now trying to execute the same tactics in the east of the Euphrates against Turkey, the minister said that "they will try to besiege us in there, too".

According to the statements of the Minister, the main objective of the US is to restrict Turkey's ability to act and to make Turkey lose its contact with all other countries.