Almost Prepared For Ops Against Kurdish Group in Syria: Erdogan
Amid US diplomatic push, Turkey’s Erdogan said they are almost prepared for operations against Kurdish groups.
In a speech to the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, 8 January, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the country’s preparations for a new military offensive against terror groups in Syria are "to a large extent" complete, reported news agency Associated Press.
Erdogan made the comments just hours after US national security adviser John Bolton met with Turkish officials seeking assurances that Turkey won’t attack US-allied Kurdish militia in Syria.
Erdogan says that Ankara "cannot make any concessions. Those involved in a terror corridor (in Syria) will receive the necessary punishment." In his speech, Erdogan also slammed Bolton over comments suggesting the United States would prevent attacks on Kurds.
Turkey insists its military actions are aimed at Kurdish fighters in Syria whom it regards as terrorists and not against the Kurdish people.
Earlier, Bolton met for roughly two hours with his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Kalin and other senior officials at Ankara's presidency complex but got no assurances on the safety of Syrian Kurdish allies — a condition for President Donald Trump's planned withdrawal of US troops from northeastern Syria.
Bolton relayed Trump's insistence that Turkey refrain from attacking Kurdish forces that fought alongside US troops against the Islamic State group, a guarantee Turkey appeared unwilling to grant.
(With inputs from Associated Press)
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