ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Any safe zone along Turkey's border with Syria must be under Turkish control, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk. He was speaking after a senior U.S. administration official said on Friday Washington would leave about 400 U.S. troops in Syria, a reversal by President Donald Trump that could pave the way for U.S. allies to keep troops there. "If there is to be a safe zone along our border then it must be under our control. Because that is my border," Erdogan said. Trump ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria in December after saying they had defeated Islamic State, a decision criticised by allies and U.S. lawmakers. He was persuaded on Thursday that about 200 U.S. troops should join what is expected to be a total commitment of some 800 to 1,500 troops from European allies to set up a safe zone in northeastern Syria, a U.S. administration official said. Ankara regards the Kurdish YPG militia, which … [Read more...] about Erdogan says safe zone on Syria border must be under Turkey’s control
Turkey syria border
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that U.S.-Kurdish joint patrols near the Turkish-Syrian border were unacceptable and he expected U.S. President Donald Trump to stop them. Erdogan, set to meet Trump in Paris this weekend, told reporters he would discuss the patrols carried out by the United States and allied Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which would cause "serious negative developments" along the border. The patrols began in northern Syria last week with the aim of averting clashes between Turkey and Washington’s Kurdish allies, but Turkey pressed on with a new threatened offensive nearby to crush the Kurds. (Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Ece Toksabay and John Stonestreet) … [Read more...] about Turkey’s Erdogan says joint U.S.-Kurdish patrols near Syria border unacceptable
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Six immigrants died on Turkey's border with Syria after being swept away by a flood, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Thursday. The immigrants were trying to cross illegally to Turkey on the Syrian border of Turkey's southern province of Hatay, Anadolu reported. It did not give the immigrants' nationalities. Turkey - which hosts 3.5 million Syrian refugees - became one of the main launch points for more than a million migrants taking the sea route to European Union territory in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The influx of migrants was drastically curtailed by a 2016 accord between Ankara and the EU, after hundreds died crossing to Greek islands a few miles off the Turkish shore. Mediterranean arrivals to the bloc, including refugees making the longer and more perilous crossing from North Africa to Italy, totalled 172,301 in 2017, down from 362,753 in 2016 and 1,015,078 in 2015, according to United Nations data. … [Read more...] about Six immigrants die in flood on Turkish-Syria border
Turkish Presidency Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Thursday called U.S. sanctions on the nation for its continued arrest of American pastor Andrew Brunson an “economic coup attempt” against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkish officials have taken to calling the sanctions, which target the leaders of the nation’s judiciary, attacks in an “economic war” between Turkey and the United States.Erdoğan previously suffered a military coup attempt against his government in July 2016, which he blames on Pennsylvania-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen. Gülen has denied any involvement in the coup, and American officials have repeatedly stated that Turkish law enforcement has not provided sufficient evidence against Gülen to trigger extradition. Brunson was arrested in late 2016 on charges of working as a spy for Gülen and the Marxist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group. Brunson has … [Read more...] about Turkey Calls Sanctions for U.S. Pastor Arrest ‘Economic Coup’
World Iraq Syria ISIS Border security build the wall Iraq has begun building a massive border fence to prevent Islamic State militant group (ISIS) fighters from entering the country from Syria. The electrified, barbed wire barrier so far includes a nearly 20 feet-wide trench and currently begins at the formerly ISIS-held border town of Al-Qaim, running about 12 miles north along Iraq's vast border with Syria, where the last of the jihadis that once claimed half of both nations are believed to be hiding. Iraq has coordinated with both the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian government—allied with Russia and Iran—in conducting strikes against ISIS in eastern Syria, but the militants have still managed to infiltrate the porous, roughly 373-mile border that separates Iraq and Syria. "Ten days ago we started to set up a barbed wire security fence with surveillance towers along the border with Syria," Anwar Hamid Nayef, spokesman for … [Read more...] about Build the Wall: Will Iraq’s New Syria Border Fence Keep ISIS Fighters Out?