Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Ankara plans to launch an operation against US-backed Kurdish militants in the northern Syrian city of Manbij as Turkish warplanes launch airstrikes on positions of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in Syria.
Turkey's defense minister said Friday there is no turning back from his country's decision to launch a ground assault on a Syrian Kurdish-controlled enclave in northwest Syria, saying the offensive had "de facto" started with the Turkish military shelling of the area.
Turkey said on it would not hesitate to take action in Syria’s Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said “some people misspoke”.
Turkey's president on Monday denounced US plans to form a 30,000-strong Kurdish-led border security force in Syria, vowing to "drown this terror force before it is born," as Russia and Syria also rejected the idea.
The so-called military coalition led by the United States in Syria is reportedly planning to set up a new large border force of up to 30,000 personnel with the aid of its militia allies in war-torn country, a move that will further infuriate Turkey, a NATO ally that is already angry over Washington’s strong support for Kurdish-dominated forces in the Arab country.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that relations with the United States were harmed by Washington’s refusal to extradite cleric Fetullah Gulen and its provision of arms to the Kurdish militant YPG.
Iran’s Ambassador to Turkey Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian said on Saturday that Turkish officials adopted a correct stance towards recent unrests in Iran, as they have had a clear understanding about Iran developments and provocative elements in the region.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that security and stability in Iran is of great importance to Turkey, stressing that Ankara opposes foreign powers’ interference in Iran's domestic affairs.
Germany and Turkey’s foreign ministers on Saturday agreed to pull out all the stops to improve ties that have soured due to disputes over Ankara’s post-coup crackdown and the arrests of German citizens in Turkey.