Erdoğan, Trump to meet in Washington on Nov. 13
The Turkish president confirmed his acceptance of Trump’s invitation during a phone conversation with the U.S. president on Nov. 6.
During the meeting, Erdoğan said, he plans to raise the issue of the United States’ unfulfilled pledge to remove the YPG from the Syrian border region.
“While we hold these talks, those who promised us that the YPG...would withdraw from here within 120 hours have not achieved this,” the president said, during comments to reporters on Nov. 7 before his departure to Hungary. “Similarly, with Russia... unfortunately, 150 hours have passed, but so far, all the terrorists have not left from these areas.”
While Erdoğan is due to discuss the situation with his counterpart Trump during a visit to Washington, the president said he would also speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone.
“This morning, 11 members of the Syrian National Army were martyred. Of course, a bigger number died on the other side... When they attack the SNA or our soldiers, should we stay silent? Of course, we must retaliate -- more than retaliate,” he said.
He did not elaborate on where the fighting had taken place, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor, said clashes had taken place near the Syrian border town of Ain Issa, without detailing casualties.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria aimed at establishing a “safe zone” that would push the YPG away from its border and create room to repatriate Syrian refugees.
Erdoğan’s scheduled meeting with Trump comes in the aftermath of a deal reached between Ankara and Washington on Oct. 17 to pause Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria to allow YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the planned safe zone.
On Oct. 22, Turkey and Russia also reached a deal under which YPG/PKK terrorists would pull back 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) south of Turkey’s border with Syria within 150 hours, and security forces from Turkey and Russia would mount joint patrols there.
Jeffrey to visit Turkey
Meanwhile, U.S. special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey is due to visit Turkey this week, according information released Nov. 6 by the State Department. Jeffrey will travel to Ankara and Istanbul to meet with senior Turkish officials and members of the Syrian opposition Nov. 8 -9.
“Ambassador Jeffrey is leading an interagency delegation to discuss issues of mutual concern to include the current situation in northeast Syria, implementation of UNSCR 2254 on the resolution of the Syrian conflict and our continued efforts to ensure an enduring defeat of ISIS,” the department said. Jeffrey was in Ankara last month as part of a high-level U.S. delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence to discuss Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria.