Erdogan Vows To ‘Crush Heads’ Of Kurds If They Don’t Withdraw
We noted previously that chances are high that by the time Trump and Erdogan meet for their planned summit in Washington on Nov. 13, the ceasefire deal in northern Syria brokered by Pence and Pompeo on behalf of the White House is likely to be in complete tatters and all but dead.
With already the Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces accusing the other of violating the truce, including charges of chemical and banned weapons use, President Erdogan over the weekend said he’s ready to order a resumed offensive if all Kurdish don’t withdraw by this coming Tuesday night, which marks the close of the initial 120-hour truce agreement. A further or permanent ceasefire was conditioned on the 5-day “pause” being observed.
“The 120-hour pause on operations will end Tuesday night, we will continue crushing heads of terrorists if they don’t withdraw by then,” Erdogan told a political rally in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri on Saturday, according to Bloomberg.
This after one of Turkey’s soldiers was reported killed during a breach of the ceasefire, according to Turkish official sources.
Kurdish YPG forces charged Turkey with blocking the evacuation of their dead and wounded, while Turkish troops claimed to have come under fire some 20 times in what would be a violation of the agreement.
Following Thursday’s deal, the result of some four hours of meetings between the US vice president and Turkey’s leader, the White House cautioned that the reality of a complete pause in fighting could take a little time to implement.
But perhaps the more important deal-making is set to occur with Moscow, as Erdogan and Putin are set to meet this upcoming week to discuss the rapidly developing events in Syria. Currently Russian troops have filled the power vacuum left in the wake of the rapid Pentagon draw down from border towns in northeast Syria.
“There are regime forces under Russian protection in parts of our operation area. We will discuss it with Putin. We’ve to find a solution,” Erdogan said Saturday.
Indeed whatever comes out of meeting with Putin is likely to set the final trajectory which could bring the fighting to a close.