US President Donald Trump has promised to withdraw US troops from areas of Kurdish-controlled northern Syria where a Turkish operation will be taking place, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has announced.
“In a telephone call with our president, the US president informed us that the US would be vacating the area. We will discuss the question of coordination after the withdrawal takes place. The agreement with the US on the creation of a safe zone is a very important first step,” Cavusoglu said, speaking at a press briefing on Thursday.
The foreign minister added that Turkey would not allow the US to delay the implementation of a safe zone under any circumstances, and has shown Washington that it is prepared to back its words by deeds. “Either we do it together, or we will be able to do it ourselves,” he said.
“Our decision is to create a safe zone so that there are no terrorists there from the Syrian Kurdish self-defense forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party. But we will not allow this agreement to be turned into the [US] Roadmap for Manbij,” Cavusoglu noted, referring to the Turkish-US security agreement negotiated on last year.