The US needs to withdraw its forces from regions of Syria east of the Euphrates River, as part of the Astana peace process for Syria, the Turkish president said Wednesday.
"America has to leave east of the Euphrates now. This is an outcome that came out of the Astana process,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one day after an Astana process summit with the Russian and Iranian presidents, stressing that his Astana partners agree with this judgement.
"Türkiye expects this as well because it is America that feeds the terrorist groups there," Erdogan told reporters en route back to Türkiye, referring to the terror group YPG/PKK, which the US has partnered with on the pretext of fighting Daesh/ISIS terrorists.
Reiterating the possibility of another Turkish anti-terrorist operation across its southern border into northern Syria, following other successful operations in recent years, Erdogan said a new operation will be on the table as long as Ankara’s longstanding concerns have not been met.
"You see that the American (military) staff there train members of the terrorist organization (YPG/PKK),” he continued.
“During this training, they are waving the flag of the regime there. Why?”
He added: “Their job is to commit a terrorist act against the Turkish soldiers there. Here, too, they think if they are deceiving the Turkish army by waving the regime's flag there. We won't be fooled.”
YPG/PKK terrorists periodically attempt to attack Turkish troops in opposition-held northern Syria, soldiers stationed there to keep peace along the border and protect locals from terrorist domination.
Türkiye has long criticized the US working with the YPG/PKK supposedly against Daesh/ISIS, saying that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the European Union, and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the terrorist PKK’s Syrian branch.