Turkey, World

Turkish, US presidents vow better coordination on Syria

President Erdogan tells Trump of Turkey's legitimate security concerns about presence, actions of terrorist PKK/PYD/YPG

Fatih Hafız Mehmet   | 14.12.2018
Turkish, US presidents vow better coordination on Syria


By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet 


On the eve of a possible Turkish counter-terrorism operation in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on Friday agreed on the need for more effective coordination over Syria, said an official statement.

In a phone conversation late Friday, Erdogan and Trump discussed bilateral issues and recent developments in Syria, including security issues and counter-terrorism efforts, said the Turkish presidential statement. 

Erdogan told Trump about Turkey’s legitimate security concerns caused by the presence and actions in Syria of the terrorist organization PKK/PYD/YPG.

Turkey has long decried U.S. cooperation with the PKK/PYD/YPG -- with Washington calling them "allies" against Daesh -- telling the U.S. that one cannot use one terrorist group to fight another.

In recent days Turkey has also criticized new U.S. observation posts in Syria, along the border with Turkey.

On Wednesday, Erdogan said that within days Turkey would launch an operation in Syria, east of the Euphrates, near Turkey’s borders, to clear the region of PKK/YPG terrorists.

That operation would follow two successful Turkish operations since 2016 to foil the formation of a “terror corridor” along Turkey’s border.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

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