In the face of international outcry provoked by his offensive in Syria, Erdogan hardens his tone

The Turkish president has ruled out negotiations with the Kurds: in order for Operation "Source of Peace" to end, they would have to lay down their arms and withdraw from the Turkish border.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in front of the elected officials of the Justice and Development Party in Ankara on October 16th. ADEM ALTAN / AFP

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, continues to raise the pressure. The Turkish president has again rejected, Wednesday, October 16, any possibility of ceasefire in northern Syria at war since 2011. A week to the day after its outbreak, the Turkish offensive against the Kurdish militia units People's Protection (YPG) has already rebuffed the politico-diplomatic cards.

The President of the United States, Donald Trump, who had initially given the go-ahead to the Turkish operation by withdrawing US troops stationed in northern Syria, has since urged Ankara to halt its offensive and authorized sanctions against Turkey.

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In this context, Mr. Trump decided to send his vice president, Mike Pence, and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to Turkey. They were scheduled to meet with Erdogan on Thursday to try to convince him to negotiate a truce with the Kurdish fighters.

The Turkish head of state announced on Wednesday that he will not meet with them: "They will meet their counterparts. I will only talk to Trump if he comes. "

Spoken comments later on Twitter by the director of communication of the Turkish Presidency, Fahrettin Altun. According to him, Mr. Erdogan, "Does indeed plan to meet the US delegation". Altun also published a short video in which Erdogan told Turkish media that he will meet with MM. Pence and Pompeo.

  • Turkish ultimatum to Kurdish forces

Summoned by the Western countries to stop his offensive in Syria, the Turkish president has ruled out any negotiations with the Kurdish forces. "Some leaders try to mediate. There is nothing like it in the history of the Turkish Republic to sit down at the same table with a terrorist organization. ", did he declare.

"Our proposal is: immediately, tonight, that all terrorists lay down their weapons and equipment, destroy all their fortifications and withdraw from the security zone we have set"added the president to the parliamentarians of his Justice and Development Party (AKP, Islamo-conservative).

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"When what we have described will be done, from Manbij to the Iraqi border, then our operation "Source of peace", which only targets terrorists, will end itself "he continued.

  • Russians invest in former US zones

The vacuum left by the withdrawal of American troops on the ground will not have lasted long. Russian media showed on Wednesday first images of Russian and Syrian troops taking up positions in the Manbij area.

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Moscow said its military police were now patrolling the area to avoid armed clashes between Turkish and Syrian forces. "The Syrian authorities and the Russian command have taken all measures to ensure the safe withdrawal of foreign troops"added on Tuesday night from Tuesday to Wednesday the Russian Ministry of Defense.


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