Turkish PM vows to clear terrorists east of Euphrates
Turkey will clear terrorists from east of Euphrates east just like Turkish army has done it in this river's west, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Thursday, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.
"Western part of the Euphrates has been cleared. Its east will be the same as well. There's no other way. We can never live next to terror. We don't allow this," Yildirim said.
The premier was in the Black Sea province of Giresun to attend a political rally.
"We have carried out Operation Euphrates Shield and Afrin Operation. These were not small tasks. Thanks to Allah we shattered the circle of terror, which was trying to establish itself on our southern borders," Yildirim said.
Operation Euphrates Shield took place from August 2016 to March 2017 to eliminate terror threats along the Turkish border.
Yildirim added the Manbij issue has come to surface thanks to Turkish insistence.
Turkish and American officials have outlined a roadmap for cooperation on Manbij, northern Syria, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Turkey and the U.S. have established a mechanism to address separate issues in working groups, including stabilization of Manbij and to prevent any undesirable clashes, following the visit of former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to capital Ankara in February.
Manbij, a YPG/PKK-held city, has caused friction in Turkish-U.S. ties, with Turkey rejecting the U.S. working with the terrorist YPG/PKK, demanding the group’s withdrawal.
U.S. military support for the terrorist group in Manbij has strained ties between Ankara and Washington, and has led to fears of military clashes between the two NATO allies, since there are roughly 2,000 U.S. troops in the city.
This January, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, northern Syria to clear terrorist groups from the area. After liberating the city of Afrin, Ankara said it might also extend its operation further east to Manbij, unless the YPG/PKK terrorist group leaves the strategically located city
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