Turkey's Erdoğan says to secure east of Euphrates in Syria

Turkey's Erdoğan says to secure east of Euphrates in Syria

News Service Yeni Şafak, AA

Turkey aims to secure control of the region of northern Syria east of the Euphrates river, removing the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s Syrian affiliate, the YPG, from the area, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Monday.

“Our goal is to completely clear Sinjar and Mt. Qandil of the separatist terrorist organization [referring to PKK],” Erdoğan said during his speech at the opening of Turkish parliament’s second legislative session in the capital Ankara.

Mt. Qandil is home to the PKK terror group's headquarters and the terror group initially established a presence in Sinjar in 2014 on the pretext of “protecting” the local Ezidi community from the Daesh terrorist group.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.

'US lost its credibility'

Erdoğan said the United States had lost credibility by engaging in trade wars globally. Ankara and Washington have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat over the trial in Turkey of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson.

"It is impossible for any country in the world to look to the future of their relations with the U.S. with confidence," he added.

Despite the tensions between Turkey and the U.S. over Brunson case, Erdoğan said: “We hope to develop political and economic relations with the U.S. under a strategic partnership perspective.”

Turkey will enhance ties with Russia

He also drew attention to relations with Russia, and vowed to further strengthen “positive cooperation in the days ahead.”

A Russian-Turkish agreement in September staved off a threatened attack by the Syrian regime and agreed on the creation of a demilitarized zone between opposition and government forces in the northwest.

Turkey, which backs some opposition groups in Idlib, is to jointly patrol the demilitarized zone with Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s most powerful ally. Heavy weapons are to be removed from the demilitarized zone by Oct. 10.

Currency fluctuation does not reflect reality

On recent developments in Turkish economy, Erdoğan said: “They tried to topple our economy under the cover of darkness. We are proceeding with aims to overcome these attacks.”

As Turkey proceeds ahead with the new presidential system, Erdoğan recalled the challenges country faces and vowed to “immediately” resolve issues.

''However, the fluctuation in the economy, which doesn't reflect the reality in our country causes challenges to be more apparent,” he added.

The lira has lost more than 40 percent of its value this year over a diplomatic row between Ankara and Washington, which Erdoğan deemed an economic war


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