Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on December 27 that they are talking with the US officials about the arms supplied to the YPG, Kurdish People’s Protection Units, by the US. Mentioning the US' silence about the arms that was 'given to be taken back later', he stated that there is no such thing that the US arms will remain in the hands of the militant group following the US decision to withdraw from Syria.
The Turkish government had repeatedly accused the US of massively arming the Kurdish YPG, and asked Washington to take back the weapons from the Kurdish militia in northern Syria.
Akar told reporters that the US and the other countries had only carried out airstrikes on the Islamic State (IS), alleging that the Turkish Armed Forces had “a hand-to-hand fight against the IS” and beaten over 3,000 members of the organization. He said that the Turkish army is capable of eliminating the remnants of the IS in the region.
Noting that they are talking with their counterparts from the US, he said, “There is no such thing that the arms provided by the US would remain in the terrorist organization YPG.” He added that they are cooperating with American officials under the deal between the US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “We have plans. We are also in contact with the other sides,” he told reporters.
“As Turkey, as an independent state, we are talking with everyone. In this context, our talks with officials from Russia and the US will continue. We are talking about everything, including Tal Rifaat. We are doing what should be done both for our country and the region,” he said.
During his surprise visit to the US troops in Iraq on December 26, the US President Trump said, “We’ve knocked them [IS] out. I will tell you that I've had some very good talks with President Erdoğan who wants to knock them out also and he'll do it.”
After the US decided to withdraw from Syria, the Turkish army and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) troops were relocated to the Manbij border. Starting from Saturday evening on December 22 in the Sajur region, more than 8,000 people including Turkish army and FSA militia were transferred to the zero point on the border.