13:50 GMT +315 October 2019
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    A fighter from the Kurdish People Protection Unit (YPG)

    Erdogan Does Not Trust US Claims Kurds Retreated East of Euphrates in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / DELIL SOULEIMAN
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    Turkey does not not believe the statements by US officials that Syrian Kurdish rebels have retreated east of the Euphrates River in Syria as demanded by Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – On Sunday, media reported, citing an anonymous US defense official, that all Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) members, outlawed in Turkey, had moved east of the river.

    "No, they [YPG] have not retreated [from areas bordering Turkey]. We base this on our own data. We do not believe the US claims that the terrorists have moved to the east of Euphrates," Erdogan said at a press conference at the Ankara airport ahead of his departure to China to take part in the Group of Twenty (G20) summit.

    Turkish army tanks make their way towards the Syrian border town of Jarablus, Syria August 24, 2016. Picture taken August 24, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Revolutionary Forces of Syria Media Office
    On August 24, Ankara announced that Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, had begun a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian town of Jarablus and surrounding area of the Daesh jihadist group, outlawed in Russia. Syrian Kurds and Damascus have accused Ankara of violating the territorial integrity of the country.

    Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Syrian Kurdish militia would become a target for Turkish forces carrying out a military operation in northern Syria unless they move east of the Euphrates.

    Related:

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    Syrian Kurdish Militia Largely Withdraws From West Bank of Euphrates River
    Ankara Denies US Statements on Ceasefire Deal Between Turkey, Syrian Kurds
    Turkey Warns Syrian Kurds to Move East of Euphrates or Become a Target
    Tags:
    Kurds, The Syrian war, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey, Syria, United States
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