Erdogan, Putin to discuss Syria, Iraq and trade

Posted March 10, 2017

Though the USA has been hoping to include both Turkey and the battle-hardened Kurdish forces, Yildirim insisted Turkey wouldn't be part of any operation including the Syrian Kurdish force known as the YPG, considered by Ankara to be terrorists who threaten Turkey's security.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, March 6 said the US troops are on the western outskirts of Manbij to "reassure and deter", and are making themselves visible by flying American flags. Turkey objects to USA cooperation with the People's Protection Units (YPG) militia in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), or DAESH, in Syria.

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are seen in Kobani, also called Ayn al-Arab, in Syria.

A spokeswoman for Mercy Corps, Christine Bragale, said she could not speculate on the reason for the Turkish government's decision, but stressed: "We have every confidence in the impartiality and integrity of our operation". As the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim group has lost territory, however, the opposing powers vying for control in Syria have continued to shift loyalties and broker deals in an attempt to increase their influence over the country, which fell into civil war when a series of anti-government protests in 2011 transformed into an armed insurgency.

Turkey has said its campaign in Syria is aimed at driving Islamic State (ISIS) from its border and preventing YPG expansion in the area.

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"Turkey told its counterparts that no terror group can be destroyed by using another terror group", he said in Ankara.

US Air Force Colonel John Dorrian said the deployment, comprising a total of 400 American forces, added to around 500 US military personnel already stationed in Syria.

Speaking in Ankara, Yildirim said Syria needed to be rid of "all terrorist groups" including Al-Nusra, Syrian Kurdish militia as well as IS jihadists.

Turkey's Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar, center, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, left, and Russia's Chief of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov attend a meeting in Antalya, Turkey, March 7, 2017.

Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, views the Kurdish group that dominates the Syria Democratic Forces as terrorists and has threatened to drive them from the northern town of Manbij, which the alliance captured from the militants previous year with the aid of US -led coalition airstrikes.

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Top Turkish officials have repeatedly vowed in recent weeks that the Turkish troops will move on to capture Manbij unless the YPG leaves the town.

In the center of the country, Syrian troops captured the Jazal oil field from the extremists after days of fighting, state TV said, quoting an unnamed military official.

Oh, and there are Russian, U.S., Syrian and Turkish jets flying around throughout all of this.

"The U.S.is working for the formation of a federal Syria", maintained Solmazturk.

"We can clear Manbij together, then we can clear Raqqa together", he said. They are in addition to an undisclosed number of US special operations troops who have been working inside Manbij for months to help a local coalition, known as the Manbij Military Council, to hold the city and restore governance.

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Mercy Corps strongly denies the charges and says it is a strictly non-political group.