Published: Thu, November 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

IS exploited Turkey's Syria invasion, drawdown of U.S. troops: Pentagon report

IS exploited Turkey's Syria invasion, drawdown of U.S. troops: Pentagon report

His comments, and Russia's frosty reaction to them, reflect emerging tensions over Syria between Moscow and Ankara less than a month after President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan struck a deal that saw Syrian and Russian forces deploy in northeast Syria to remove YPG fighters and their weapons from the border with Turkey.

"We explained to Trump that Turkey won't back down as far as the S-400 systems are concerned". We are not clients, but partners, we have already paid $1.4 billion.

Turkey's acquisition of the advanced Russian air-defence system prompted the Trump administration to remove Turkey from the F-35 fifth-generation joint strike fighter program in July.

Erdogan also reiterated a warning that Turkey will seek fighter jets elsewhere if Washington continued to block its planned purchases of F-35s.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK - listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the USA and the European Union - has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. "If we don't agree, then we will start looking for alternatives in the medium term", Erdogan said. He added that no plan in the region can be realized without Turkey's consent and support.

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The YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organisation.

The US is strongly against the Turkish decision to purchase and use Russian defense systems and has always been threatening Turkey with sanctions adopted by Congress in mid-2017.

Turkey yesterday called on Germany and the United States (US) to extradite the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Mazloum Kobani.

"The head of the Turkish foreign ministry's call for military action can only escalate the situation in northern Syria rather than sort things out in the way set out in a joint memorandum signed by the presidents of Russian Federation and Turkey".

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