President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey is fully prepared for a possible operation on the border with Syria to push back militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in case the United States fails to create a so-called safe zone in the northeastern part of the Arab country this month.
“Our preparations along the border have been completed,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday ahead of his flight to New York to attend a UN General Assembly meeting.
He roundly criticized the continued support of the US for the YPG, saying Washington was providing the Kurdish militants with arms.
“We have no desire to get into a confrontation with the US. But in a place where the United States is not invited, we cannot afford to ignore the support it has given to terrorist organizations. In other words, their support for terrorist organizations such as the YPG is obvious,” Erdogan noted.
The Turkish president then pointed to the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – to which the YPG plays as the backbone, saying he would discuss their presence in northern Syria as well as the withdrawal of US troops from the conflict-plagued Arab country with his US counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
Erdogan has given the US until the end of the current month for concrete results on the development of a purported safe zone on Turkey’s border with Syria.