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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again attempted to convince his American counterpart, President Donald Trump, to allow Turkey to control Manbij, a region in northern Syria under the auspices of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ), in a phone call Sunday.
The YPG is one of America’s closest and most reliable allies in the country, responsible for eliminating much of the Islamic State presence in Syria and keeping the terrorist group out of Manbij and much of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). The Turkish government considers YPG fighters “terrorists” indistinguishable from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Marxist, U.S.-designated terrorist group.
Trump - Erdogan - Sunday - Situation - Syria
Trump and Erdogan reportedly spoke late Sunday on the situation in Syria, which deteriorated last week with a bomb killing four American soldiers at a restaurant in Manbij, an attack claimed by the Islamic State. Erdogan, according to the Turkish presidential office, told Trump that Turkish troops could occupy Manbij and eradicate the YPG from there immediately. Trump had announced in December his intention to withdraw troops from Syria completely as soon as possible because, in his estimation, the Islamic State no longer posed a threat.
The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet translated the Ankara message on the call as being that Turkish soldiers could immediately fill any void that U.S. troops left in northern Syria. “A statement from the Turkish presidency said Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to take joint measures to clear ISIL’s [ISIS’s] remnants in Syria and prevent the group’s resurgence,” the newspaper related.
White - House - Statement - Way - President
The White House statement did not address one way or another if President Trump was considering withdrawing from Manbij and fully replacing the U.S. presence with Turkish troops. Instead, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Erdogan used the call to express “condolences for the tragic loss of American lives in Manbij, Syria this week”...
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"Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis