President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared that Turkey would not allow the United States to delay its plan to set up a “safe zone” in northeast Syria
Erdogan was quoted in a CNN Turk report published on Thursday as saying that Ankara would not accept delays in the plan, comparing it to an earlier deal with Washington to remove the Kurdish YPG fighters from the northern Syrian city of Manbij, which Turkey had accused the US of delaying.
Turkey’s presidential communications directorate also said that Erdogan spoke to US President Donald Trump early on Thursday about the latest developments in Syria’s Idlib province.
Washington and Ankara have been at odds over plans for the region, where the Kurdish YPG militia form the main part of a US-backed force fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISL, also known as ISIS).
Turkey considers the YPG a “terrorist” organisation.
Erdogan said this week Turkish ground troops would enter the planned safe zone “very soon”, having warned previously that Turkey would mount a cross-border offensive on its own to clear the YPG militia from its border if necessary.