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    Turkish Army soldiers prepare their tanks next to empty shells at a staging area in the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey, on the border with Syria, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018

    Turkey Delays Syria Military Operation to Avoid US Friendly Fire - Minister

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    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

    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


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