Tabnak – As Ankara insists on its desire to purge the whole northern Syria of the Kurdish groups, the relationship between Turkey and the United States seems to become more and more fragile. Could Ankara’s declared plan to go further to the east after taking over Afrin put it in a direct confrontation with the US troops?
Turkey warns that it will move to push the US-backed Kurdish militants away from Syria’s Manbij if it does not reach an agreement with the US on a plan to remove them from the northern border town.
“If this plan is not realized, the only option left will be clearing away terrorists. This is not just valid for Syria, but also for Iraq,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in interview with state-run Anadolu news agency on Thursday.
He noted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his US counterpart Donald Trump are scheduled to hold a phone conversation with regard to the issue on Thursday.
His remarks comes as the United States has denied Turkish claims that the two sides reached a deal over the city of Manbij in northern Syria, where US troops are present.
Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin told Al Jazeera on Monday that Ankara and Washington had reached a general agreement on Manbij and that the Turkish side is now waiting for its NATO ally to implement the deal.
However, Asked about Kalin's comments, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said: "Well, that's funny, because no agreement has been reached." She also said that the US had nothing to announce about the resumption of talks on the issue.
In separate remarks, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted by state news agency Anadolu as saying that the United States has no right to be in the Syrian region of Manbij, where Turkey would be continuing its Syrian operations after capturing the town of Afrin.
“They are going on about the issue of the next targets of our operations, which we have announced time and time again,” Erdoğan said. “They (say they) are not going to withdraw from Manbij. For once forget withdrawing, you have no right to be there (in the first place).”
Erdogan asked, without naming the US, "Why are you coming here from 11000, 12000 kilometers away? Are these lands yours? What do you have to do with these lands? They [US] came there [N.Syria] and injected YPG and PYD. 90% of local people of those lands are Arabs. But they expelled Arabs."
It should be noted that Turkey and its allied militants with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) launched the so-called “Operation Olive Branch” against the nearby Syrian region of Afrin on January 20.
The offensive came after the United States said it sought to create a 30,000-strong force near the Turkish border in Syria with the help of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militant group, which is mainly comprised of Kurdish forces of Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG).
The US’s arms and training support for the YPG, whom Turkey ties to the anti-Ankara Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) separatist group, has long been a bone of contention between the two sides.
سایت تابناک از انتشار نظرات حاوی توهین و افترا و نوشته شده با حروف لاتین (فینگیلیش) معذور است.