US Syria pull-out plan delay frustrates Turkey; will launch attack, says Ankara
Ankara, Jan 11: With the US administration led by President Donald Trump showing indecisiveness over its troop pull-out from Syria, Turkey has indicated that it is running out of patience and will not deter from launching an offensive against the Kurdish fighters in Syria irrespective of America's procrastination.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV channel on Thursday, January 10, that if the US's withdrawal of troops is put off with "ridiculous excuses" like Turks are attacking Kurds, then Ankara will go ahead with its decision to launch an offensive against the Kurds. The Kurds have been backed by the US in its fight against the Islamic State and Washington has sought their safety post its withdrawal.
The Turkish foreign minister also said a military offensive against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) which Ankara has pledged to carry out in northeastern Syria is not dependent on the US troop pullout.
"We are determined on the field and at the table ... We will decide on its timing and we will not receive permission from anyone," Cavusoglu said.
Turkey considers the YPG and its political wing - the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to be "terrorist groups" with links with the banned PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) on its soil.
Trump came up with a sudden announcement of pulling out troops from Syria last month stunning many politicians in Washington as well its allies and the Kurds fighting alongside America in the war-torn nation. However, the timetable of the troops' withdrawal became vague in the subsequent weeks, leaving sides like Turkey and Russia that aspire to play a major role in the region once the US departs, frustrated.