Turkey content with US decision to withdraw troops from Syria, FM Çavuşoğlu says

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 21.12.2018 14:36
Updated 21.12.2018 14:47
Turkey content with US decision to withdraw troops from Syria, FM Çavuşoğlu says

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey is content about the U.S. decision to withdraw soldiers from Syria, speaking at a press conference with his Maltese counterpart Carmelo Abela on Friday.

Çavuoşoğlu called the decision an important step for a political resolution in Syria, and emphasized that it's necessary to focus on a political resolution that would solve the tragedy in the country.

"With regards to withdrawal decision of the U.S. ... from Syria, we welcome the decision," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said.

"We believe that Daesh is defeated but still we should be very vigilant because Daesh and other radical groups are still on the ground," he said.

Çavuşoğlu also said he and other Turkish officials have already been in touch with U.S. officials "at different levels" on the issue.

On Wednesday, Washington announced it will be withdrawing all of its troops from Syria, following a conversation between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. counterpart Trump over an imminent Turkish cross-border operation to eliminate PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) from northern Syria.

It has been reported that the U.S. still has about 2,000 troops in Syria, many of whom are working in close cooperation with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Almost all the territory in the east of the Euphrates River comprising some one-third of the territory of Syria, except for the Assad regime-controlled area near Deir el-Zour and the Daesh-held area near the Iraqi border, is controlled by the SDF. The SDF also controls the districts of Manbij and Tabqah on the right bank of the river.

Due to the group's links with the PKK, Ankara has called the YPG-held areas a "terror corridor" and said repeatedly it will not allow the region to turn into an autonomous region administered by the terrorist group.

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