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Turkey calls U.S. Syria conditions a 'mistake'

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:08s - Published < > Embed
Turkey calls U.S. Syria conditions a 'mistake'

Turkey calls U.S. Syria conditions a 'mistake'

President Tayyip Erdogan rebuked the White House national security adviser on Tuesday for demanding that Turkey does not harm Kurdish fighters in Syria, accusing him of complicating U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to withdraw U.S. troops.

Emily Wither reports.

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Turkey calls U.S. Syria conditions a 'mistake'

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan is strongly rejecting the White House's demand to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria as it prepares to withdraw U.S. forces.

The Kurdish YPG were a backbone of American efforts there but also a group that Turkey views as terrorists.

And John Bolton, the White House security adviser in Ankara Tuesday (January 8), said that not only would the Kurds need protection but that Turkey will also need to coordinate any military actions with the U.S. Turkey said no to both those conditions.

Reuters Turkey Bureau Chief Dominic Evans: (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS TURKEY BUREAU CHIEF, DOMINIC EVANS, SAYING.

"We understood from a Turkish official that John Bolton had requested a meeting with Erdogan but the Turkish President has stressed his own relationship with U.S. President Trump.

He says they have a very clear understanding, those two men, about the future of Syria but he has said that other U.S. administration officials are muddying the waters." Trump said last month he was bringing home the some 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

The president said Turkey would take over the final stages of the military campaign.

The tricky part is that Erdogan says Turkey will confront Washington's ally, the YPG, in the same way that it will take on Islamic State.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS TURKEY BUREAU CHIEF, DOMINIC EVANS, SAYING.

"It's clear from what Trump said last month that he wants to handover the fight against Islamic State to Turkey if these two countries cannot agree on a strategy and a plan moving forward for co-ordination of a U.S. pull-out and the Turkish gradual move in to Syria to take over that role then Trump's plans at the moment cannot proceed." While Bolton may have said the pull-out depended on certain conditions, Turkey says there will be no slowdown in the U.S. withdrawal.

Ankara is now focused on what would happen to American bases and the weapons given to Kurdish fighters.

It appears if they want Turkey's help, they'll have to turn their back on their closest Syrian ally.




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