Erdogan says Syria offensive will continue if truce deal not fully implemented

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan greets people as he leaves from a mosque after the Friday prayers in Istanbul, Turkey, October 18, 2019. Murat Kula/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

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SULAIMANI — Turkey will continue its offensive into northeast Syria more rapidly than before if an agreement with the United States to pause the operation and allow the withdrawal of Kurdish forces is not fully implemented, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday (October 18).

Erdogan also told journalists that it was not a problem for Turkey if Syrian government forces, backed by Russia, were to enter areas cleared of the Syrian Kurdish YPG, adding that Ankara had no intention to stay in areas under its control in northern Syria, according to Reuters.

He also said he had informed US President Donald Trump about the offensive in a phone call on Oct. 6, three days before the operation started. He added that “what is necessary will be done when the time is right” about a letter from Trump in which he told Erdogan to not be a “fool” and “tough guy.”

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)