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"PYD Has Not Retreated to the East of Euphrates As Promised" Featured

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The PKK's Syrian offshoot Democratic Union Party (PYD) has not evacuated Manbij and retreated to the east of Euphrates as promised, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said ahead of a visit to Russia on Monday.

Speaking at the Atatürk International Airport prior to his visit to Russia, Erdoğan said the issues in Syria will be on the table during his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea city of Sochi.

Erdoğan said that there are problems in Idlib, where Turkey monitors a fragile ceasefire deal between the Assad regime and the opposition, although both parties often engage in clashes with the al-Qaida linked Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group.

However, Erdoğan also pointed to the threat posed by the PKK to Turkey and various terrorist groups inside Syria. "Not only Idlib should come to mind when Syria is concerned. Those who had to go back to the east of the Euphrates River have not gone so far, despite promises," Erdoğan said, referring to the takeover of Manbij by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the PKK terrorist group's Syrian offshoot Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing People's Protection Units (YPG).

Turkey has repeatedly warned that it considers a PKK-aligned group's presence in the area as a direct threat to its national security.

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He added that Turkey is constantly being harassed by PYD from Afrin, and the country is determined to take necessary steps to remove this threat.

Answering a question regarding the joint statement released by U.S. President Donald Trump and Putin that said no military solution was possible in Syria, Erdoğan said that the world is no fool.

"The number of people killed by the [Assad] regime's "military methods" has reached 1 million in Syria. The U.S. and Russia should pull their troops out if a 'military solution' is not on the table," Erdoğan said, noting that the U.S. now has 13 bases in the country.

 

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