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    Kurdish people carry flags as they march during a protest in the city of al-Derbasiyah, on the Syrian-Turkish border, against what the protesters said were the operations launched in Turkey by government security forces against the Kurds, February 9, 2016

    Erdogan's Spokesman Slams US Claims of Turkey Targeting Kurds as 'Irrational'

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    After US President Donald Trump announced a decision to withdraw all American troops from Syria, having declared victory over Daesh, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan postponed the beginning of a military operation against Kurdish fighters in the Mideast country.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has rejected US claims that Ankara was targeting Kurds in Syria:

    "The claim that Turkey is targeting Kurds is irrational. Turkey’s target is Daesh and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terror groups. To argue that a terrorist organisation represents Kurds is, above all, disrespectful to our Kurdish brothers. One of the goals of Turkey's struggle against the PKK and its Syrian offshoots is to save the Kurds from the tyranny and oppression of this terror group", Kalin stated.

    READ MORE: Pompeo's Comment on Kurds Shows 'Worrying Lack of Knowledge' — Turkey

    Kalin's comments come shortly after US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced that American troops were going to maintain their presence in northeastern Syria until Turkey guaranteed the Kurdish fighters would be safe.

    "We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops, but also so that they meet the president’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered", Bolton said.

    Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump said that he wanted to protect US-allied Kurdish fighters in Syria amid a gradual pullout of American troops from the country. He elaborated that the United States would leave Syria "over a period of time", claiming that he never set a four-month timetable for the withdrawal.

    The Syrian army declared on 28 December that its troops had entered the northern city of Manbij after receiving an appeal from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to take control of the city amid Turkey's plans to launch a military operation there. The Kremlin confirmed the information after Erdogan dismissed the announcement as a "psychological operation".

    Last month, Erdogan announced that Turkey was ready to kick off a military operation against the YPG in Manbij but eventually postponed the offensive following a phone conversation with Trump, who decided to pull out American troops from the Mideast country. Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey.

    *Daesh, also known as ISIS/IS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.

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    Tags:
    Syrian Kurds, military operation in Syria, troop withdrawal, offensive, US troop withdrawal, military operation, Kurdish fighters, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), John Bolton, Donald Trump, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Manbij, Turkey, Syria
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