Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, met this week in Ankara with US National Security Adviser, John Bolton, when he threatened to launch an offensive in Syria targeting the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the YPG after Trump decided to postpone the withdrawal of the troops.
Foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told NTV television that “If the [pullout] is put off with ridiculous excuses like Turks are massacring Kurds, which do not reflect the reality, we will implement this decision.”
The US President Donald Trump made a surprise announcement last month saying he will withdraw 2,000 troops from Syria, shocking many politicians in Washington as well as Western and Kurdish allies that fight alongside the US in Syria. This decision was initially expected to be carried out quickly, but the timetable became vague in the weeks following his announcement.
Before Trump made this announcement, the Turkish president threatened to launch another operation in Syria against the YPG, which Turkey regards as a terrorist group stemming from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. Meanwhile, American forces have been working closely with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.
On Sunday, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, stated that a pre-condition for the US pullout from Syria includes that Turkey guarantees the safety of the YPG. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected these demands for assurances and stated Mr. Bolton made a “grave mistake” by demanding the safety of the Kurdish fighters before the US troops withdraw from Syria.