Turkey will take over fight against IS after US pullout: Erdogan

Washington: Turkey will take over the fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Syria after US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops was made hastily.

Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said that, the step removes a source of friction with the United States, Washington post reported.

Erdogan has long castigated his Nato ally over its support for Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters against IS. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group and an offshoot of the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), fighting for Kurdish autonomy across the border on Turkish soil.

In a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan said Turkey would mobilise to fight remaining IS fighters in Syria and temporarily delay plans to attack Kurdish fighters in the northeast of Syria, shifts precipitated by the American decision to withdraw troops.

The surprise announcement by President Trump that he would withdraw roughly 2,000 troops has felled a pillar of American policy in the Middle East. Critics say Trump’s decision will make it harder to find a diplomatic solution to Syria’s seven-year-old conflict. (UNI)


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