Erdoğan says he'll raise lack of Kurdish militia's withdrawal in meeting with Trump

Erdoğan says he'll raise lack of Kurdish militia's withdrawal in meeting with Trump
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday said that in his meeting next week with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE, he plans to raise the issue of a Kurdish militia he said the U.S. has failed to remove from the Turkish-Syrian border, according to Reuters.

“While we hold these talks, those who promised us that the YPG ... would withdraw from here within 120 hours have not achieved this,” Erdogan said, referencing Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, or People’s Protection Units, a militia that played a key role in the fight against ISIS.


U.S. officials, including Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDemocrats release two new transcripts ahead of next public impeachment hearings McConnell urges Trump to voice support for Hong Kong protesters Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Stopgap spending bill includes military pay raise | Schumer presses Pentagon to protect impeachment witnesses | US ends civil-nuclear waiver in Iran MORE, brokered a cease-fire deal between Turkey and Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, but Ankara also made an agreement with Russia over the region and a State Department official said it was unclear which arrangement covered the border town of Ras al-Ain.

“The YPG and all armed forces have certainly withdrawn from the vast majority of our area,” the official said, according to Reuters. “Erdoğan is never all that specific in his broadside attacks on us or anybody else.”

Erdoğan claimed Turkish forces had continued clashing with the Kurds, accusing Kurdish forces of killing 11 Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) fighters Thursday.

“These terrorists are attacking the SNA, and the SNA is retaliating in kind. There are 11 martyrs from the SNA this morning. Many more were killed on the other side,” he said.

As of late Wednesday, Mazloum Kobani, commander of the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces, said the SDF was resuming its operations with the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition.

“As a result of a series of meetings with Coalition leaders, #SDF is resuming its joint program of work with the Coalition to combat #ISIS and securing the infrastructure of NE #Syria,” he tweeted.

Erdoğan’s statement compounds existing tensions over his visit since the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire after years of false starts due to concerns it could alienate the NATO ally.