Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made the remarks during a briefing to the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a speech as he attends the brief of Turkish Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs about latest developments in Turkish foreign policy, in Ankara, Turkey on January 09, 2019.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a speech as he attends the brief of Turkish Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs about latest developments in Turkish foreign policy, in Ankara, Turkey on January 09, 2019. (AA)

As it tries to end its involvement with the terrorist YPG/PKK in Syria, the US is having problems withdrawing its forces, said Turkey’s foreign minister on Wednesday.

"We see that the US has some difficulties while withdrawing [from Syria],” Mevlut Cavusoglu told parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

“After being so intertwined and engaged with a terrorist organisation, it is not that easy to leave that terrorist organisation," he added, referring to the terrorist YPG/PKK.

Ankara has long criticised the US working with the terrorist YPG/PKK to fight Daesh in Syria, saying that using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.

In its 30-year terrorist campaign, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.

Cavusoglu reiterated that Turkey has repeatedly rejected US claims that Washington will not withdraw its troops from northeastern Syria without a guarantee from Ankara that it will not attack “Kurds." 

Turkey's leadership has stressed that equating "Kurds" with the terrorist YPG/PKK is illicit.

Support for Syria's territorial integrity

Cavusoglu pointed to Turkey prioritising and supporting Syria's territorial integrity and stability.

Turkey has taken all measures to counter terror threats from the YPG/PKK coming from Syrian territory, he said.

"As we took steps in Afrin, as we took steps with Operation Euphrates Shield west of the Euphrates River to the al-Bab region, so we would never shrink from taking the same steps east of the Euphrates," he stressed.

Turkey has said it will soon launch an operation against YPG/PKK terrorists east of the Euphrates in Syria, following two successful similar operations since 2016.

Cavusoglu added that under the Astana process, Turkey has been coordinating with Russia and Iran on Syria.

On the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib, Cavusoglu said there have been "no problems faced so far with implementation of the Idlib deal, and Turkey has no wish to face problems going forward."

Source: AA