Published On: Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Erdogan latest: Turkish President sends fierce demand to US over Syria amid tensions | World | News

The Turkish government had confirmed a joint operations centre for the zone was operational. Kurdish militia YPG form the main part of the US backed anti-ISIS fighting force, Ankara considers YPG to be a terrorist group. Mr Erdogan told reporters: “The agreement which we have reached with the USA is a correct step towards establishing a safe zone and removing the YPG from the east of the Euphrates.

“We will never tolerate a delay like we saw in Manbij. The process must advance rapidly.”

Manbij is a city in northern Syria where YPG are also fighting.

US President Donald Trump proposed forming the safe zone last year and announced plans to withdraw special forces from the region.

The plan was suspended by Trump in order to ensure Washington’s Kurdish allies were better protected.

The plan to immediately withdraw resulted in the resignation of Jim Mattis, Washington’s Defence Secretary, who wanted the US to remain to ensure ISIS did not regroup.

A YPG-led alliance official had said the group would pull forces and weapons from the Turkish border.

They have withdrawn from positions in the border areas of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.

Washington and Ankara had been at odds over the latter’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 missile defence systems.

READ MORE: Trump ponders sanctions as punishment for Russian missile purchase

Turkey is like the United States opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

Both nations have been part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, an international coalition against ISIS.

Turkey joined NATO alongside Greece in October 1951.

These nations have the ability to cut of Russian naval access to the Mediterranean Sea through the Aegean and Black seas.

The Turkish city of Adana hosts Incirlik Air Base, which is primarily used by the United States Air Force (USAF) and Turkish Air Force, but also at times by Britain’s Royal Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force, it is also home of the 74th Anti-aircraft Artillery Regiment of the Spanish Army.

USAF also has a facility in Izmir.

Ankara refused to allow the use of Incirlik during the Iraq War.

Washington had been allowed to use the base during the First Gulf War along with allies in return for financial aid.

Mr Erdogan has been President of Turkey since 2014, before this he was Prime Minister for 11 years, with the role no longer in existence following a referendum on Mr Edogan’s proposed constitutional reforms which made him both head of state and head of government.

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