Turkish Foreign Minister Urges Immediate US Withdrawal From Syria’s Manbij
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that the United States should take concrete steps to prove the end of support for Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), rather than rhetoric.
The statement was made amid the ongoing Turkish military offensive in the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Afrin, launched on January 20 and provoked, as Ankara explained, by the necessity for the country to protect its borders from a “terrorist army”, the new “Border Defense Forces”, comprising the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish YPG militias, trained by the US.
In defiance of the opposition to the military advance by numerous members of the international community, Ankara claimed that it would continue the operation, spreading it to Manbij. However, Turkey stressed that the offensive was not aimed against the Syrian government, calling the territorial integrity of Syria its mutual goal with Damascus.
Nonetheless, Damascus denounced the operation and called it a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.
Despite the numerous US assertions that Washington would not provide more weapons to the YPG and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Ankara repeatedly points to the lack of solid evidence to prove this fact.
In December 2017, US President Donald Trump had reassured Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he had ordered to cease supplies of US weapons to the Syrian Kurds, according to Cavusoglu’s previous statement.