Erdogan: We'll never declare a ceasefire in Syria

Turkish President tells Trump Turkey will never declare ceasefire and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces.

Elad Benari,

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told US President Donald Trump on Tuesday night that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northeastern Syria and that it will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region, Reuters reported.

Speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its goals, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

“They say ‘declare a ceasefire’. We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan declared. “They are pressuring us to stop the operation. They are announcing sanctions. Our goal is clear. We are not worried about any sanctions.”

Erdogan said he told Trump in a phone call earlier this week that he should send a US delegation to Ankara to discuss their demands and try to reach an agreement. The White House said on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence will meet with Erdogan in Ankara on Thursday.

Turkish soldiers last Wednesday launched a cross-border assault against Kurdish fighters Turkey sees as terrorists.

The operation was launched three days after Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of US forces in northeastern Syria, leading to some accusations that Trump’s move was an authorization for Turkey to invade the region.

The Turkish attack is aimed at the US-allied YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State (ISIS). The group is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

While Trump defended his administration’s plans to withdraw US forces from northern Syria, he also made clear that the US would not allow Turkey to do anything inhumane in Syria.

On Monday, the White House announced that Trump will sign an executive order imposing sanctions on Turkey over its invasion of northern Syria.




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