Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed claims by the United States that Kurdish fighters have retreated east of Euphrates River in northern Syria.
“Right now, people say they have gone to the east but we say no, they haven’t crossed,” Erdogan said Thursday, referring to the US-backed militants of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
The Turkish head of state added that “no one can expect us to permit a terror corridor to be created. We will not allow it.”
He was reacting to comments by a US military official, who said Monday that Kurdish forces had “all” moved east of the Euphrates, more than a week after Ankara launched an incursion into northern Syria.
Top Turkish officials have stressed that the offensive in Syria will continue until YPG and its affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) withdraw.
The so-called Operation Euphrates Shield, which kicked off on last Wednesday morning, involves the Turkish air force and special ground forces. Ankara says the incursion is aimed at Daesh terrorists and Kurdish militias.
The Turkish military is supporting a ground offensive by hundreds of pro-Ankara militants in Syria, who managed to enter the Syrian border town of Jarablus in a lightening advance after meeting little resistance from Daesh terrorists there.