US forces must leave areas of Syria east of Euphrates River - Erdogan

The US needs to withdraw its forces from regions of Syria east of the Euphrates River, as part of the Astana peace process for Syria, the Turkish president said Wednesday.

"America has to leave east of the Euphrates now. This is an outcome that came out of the Astana process,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one day after an Astana process summit with the Russian and Iranian presidents, stressing that his Astana partners agree with this judgement.

"Türkiye expects this as well because it is America that feeds the terrorist groups there," Erdogan told reporters en route back to Türkiye, referring to the terror group YPG/PKK, which the US has partnered with on the pretext of fighting Daesh/ISIS terrorists.

Reiterating the possibility of another Turkish anti-terrorist operation across its southern border into northern Syria, following other successful operations in recent years, Erdogan said a new operation will be on the table as long as Ankara’s longstanding concerns have not been met.

"You see that the American (military) staff there train members of the terrorist organization (YPG/PKK),” he continued.

“During this training, they are waving the flag of the regime there. Why?”

He added: “Their job is to commit a terrorist act against the Turkish soldiers there. Here, too, they think if they are deceiving the Turkish army by waving the regime's flag there. We won't be fooled.”


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