Turkish president: Working with US, Russia for a terror-free northern Syria

By Rudaw 25 Dec 2016 – ISTANBUL, Turkey—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns that his country will not tolerate the establishment of ‘another state’ in northern Syria and that Ankara is working for a stable zone across its border.

Erdogan told reporters at the opening ceremony of some government projects in Istanbul that he has made Turkey’s position clear with the United States and Russia over areas in northern Syria.“If we reach an agreement with the Americans and help each other then after Manbij comes Raqqa,” said Erdogan. “And no one should tell us why we are doing this, because Turkey is a global power.”

Erdogan, whose government has long opposed the presence and advance of Kurdish forces on the other side of the border in northern Syria, said that he will be working with his allies for the creation of a “terror-free zone”.“We must establish a stable and terror-free zone and I have said that to the US, Russia and Iran,” said the Turkish president. “We will create that zone in Syria and prevent the creation of another state in that region.”

Erdogan said that in that case there will be no threats to Turkey’s border towns. Erdogan revealed that he will be discussing the issue and the situation in Syria with the new US administration of Donald Trump.Erdogan told the media during Saturday’s briefing that Turkey was instrumental in rescuing thousands of civilians from Aleppo and transporting to safety in Idlib, putting the number at 45,000.