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Turkey Delays Syria Military Operation to Avoid US Friendly Fire - Minister
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that a military advance against Kurdish YPG forces in northeastern Syria would be delayed until the US pullout is over.
"We [chose to] delay our operation to avoid friendly fire after the US announced troop withdrawal from Syria", Cavusoglu said during a visit to Malta, as quoted by the TRT channel.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he had decided to put off the onslaught after a phone call last Friday with his US counterpart, Donald Trump.
READ MORE: State Dept Denies Trump Gave 'Greenlight' for Turkish Offensive in Syria
20 December 2018, 18:34 GMT
The surprise withdrawal of 2,000 US troops from Syria was announced on Wednesday after Trump said that the objective to defeat the Daesh* terror group had been achieved.
Ties between Washington and Ankara have been strained over US support of Syrian Kurdish fighters who Turkey regards as part of the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
* Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia