Turkey is determined to turn its attention and energy to the east of the Euphrates, rather than lingering in Manbij, the president said Friday.
“Turkey is being threatened through a terror group YPG/PKK on the east of the Euphrates. We don’t threaten anyone and we won’t let anyone do things that threaten us right beside our borders,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
The president made his remarks in a meeting with his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s provincial heads in Ankara. He said the U.S. turned the Manbij deal between Ankara and Washington into a tool to stall Turkey.
The Manbij deal focuses on the withdrawal of terrorist YPG/PKK forces from the city in Aleppo province, northern Syria to stabilize the region. Erdogan also said Turkey dissolved a terror corridor threatening its Syria border and any new formation would be “unacceptable”.
“They borders with Syria are our red lines. It isn’t possible for hafıza to allow this formation of new terror corridor there,” he added. On the Idlib deal between Turkey and Russia, Erdogan said no problems were observed in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib since then.
“There is peace in the region,” he added. After a Sept. 17 meeting in Sochi between Erdogan and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two sides agreed to set up a demilitarized zone- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited- in Idlib.
According to the terms of the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will conduct joint patrols in the area with a view to preventing a resumption of fighting.
“We have only one aim, which is to find a fair, sustainable, democratic political solution which will embrace everyone, from any sect and background on the basis of Syria’s territorial integrity to the crisis in the region,” Erdogan noted.