Kurdish YPG have not left Syria 'safe zone': Erdogan

Kurdish YPG have not left Syria 'safe zone': Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says militants from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have not fully withdrawn from border areas of the so-called safe zone in northern Syria as specified in the agreements with Russia and the United States, and that US forces are still carrying out joint patrols with the militants.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says militants from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have not fully withdrawn from border areas of the so-called safe zone in northern Syria as specified in the agreements with Russia and the United States, and that US forces are still carrying out joint patrols with the militants.

“We know that there are still terrorists in the planned safe zone. These areas are not cleared of terrorists. Terrorists have not been taken out of either (the northwestern Syrian cities of) Tal Rifaat or Manbij,” Erdogan told a parliamentary group meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the capital Ankara on Tuesday.

He added that the militants beyond the safe zone borders were organizing attacks on Turkish security forces.

“We will not be an onlooker to this situation. We will do what is necessary as we did before.

“Turkey will continue its fight until the last terrorist is neutralized in Turkey, Syria and Iraq,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish president highlighted that Ankara would abide by its deals as long as Washington and Moscow kept their promises.

Erdogan said that US forces were still holding joint patrols with the YPG militants inside the 30-kilometers border strip from which the Kurdish forces were supposed to withdraw.

“How can we explain America holding patrols with terrorist organizations in this region even though they made the decision to withdraw? This is not in our agreement,” he said.

He also criticized the US for being insincere regarding Turkey’s anti-terror efforts.

"We have been subjected to a hidden embargo for fighting against terrorists,” Erdogan said, referring to some western countries' refusal to sell weapons and other devices in the wake of the Turkish cross-border incursion into northern Syria.

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