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Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Erdogan Warns of ‘Unwanted Consequences’ in Turkish Push Toward U.S. Troops in Manbij
The fuse may be lit on a major new crisis in war-torn Syria, as Turkish forces and their local allies push deeper into Syrian territory and threaten Manbij, a city where U.S. troops are deployed.
Reutersnoted on Monday that Turkish officials, up to and including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have warned foreign forces to clear a path if and when Turkey makes a move on Manbij.
“This is what we have to say to all our allies: don’t get in between us and terrorist organizations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences,” Erdogan said ominously in January.
However, the United States has given no indication it is prepared to withdraw from the town. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is reportedly bracing himself for a “difficult conversation” when he arrives in Ankara this week.
“We will discuss these issues during Tillerson’s visit, and our ties are at a very critical stage. Either we will improve our ties, or they will completely deteriorate,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday, offering a preview of just how difficult that conversation is likely to be.
“Missing trust needs to be restored. The reason for that missing trust is the U.S.,” Cavusoglucharged.
“Our demands from the U.S. are clear and have already been conveyed. We no longer want to hear about promises, we want to hear about concrete steps. Trust needs to be rebuilt so we can start to talk about some issues. U.S. actions are the reason behind the loss of trust,” he said. READ MORE