President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkey was preparing to “eliminate” the threat from the US-backed Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria “very soon”.
“Turkey has the right to eliminate all threats against its national security,” he said in a televised speech in Ankara.
“God willing, we will carry the process started with (previous offensives into Syria) to the next stage very soon.”
As he spoke, American and Turkish defense officials were locked in talks in Ankara.
The United States, which has supported the Kurdish YPG as the main fighting force against the ISIL Takfiri group, hopes it can convince Turkey to avoid a military intervention by reaching agreement on a “buffer zone” in northern Syria.
“Turkey expects steps from the US befitting of a NATO ally and strategic partner,” Erdogan said.
“Turkey has the right to eliminate all threats against its national security. Drying up the terrorist swamp in northern Syria is our top priority,” he added.
Damascus has repeatedly denounced Turkish and US agreements on creating “buffer zone” in Syria, stressing that such understandings violates the Syrian sovereignty.
“No Evidence S-400 Systems Will Harm F-35 Jets or NATO”
Erdogan meanwhile, said there is no concrete evidence to suggest how Turkey’s Russian-made S-400s could harm the F-35 jets or the NATO alliance
The Turkish leader said he believed that US President Donald Trump would not allow Turkish-US relations to “become captive” to the S-400 issue.
“There is no evidence that the S-400s will somehow cause harm to NATO or the F-35. Earlier, many countries had purchased these systems, and its incorrect to ask Turkey about its relationship with the West. Turkey’s purchase of the S-400s is exclusively a commercial move,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan added that he had previously proposed that Washington create a commission to discuss whatever concerns the US side might have about the S-400s.