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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Turkey calls on US to halt Kurdish redeployment in Syria

AP , Wednesday 7 Mar 2018
Erdogan in Parliament
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas
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Turkey is calling on the United States to prevent U.S.-backed Kurdish forces from sending fighters deployed against the Islamic State group to shore up Kurdish forces battling a Turkish offensive in an enclave in northwest Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said Wednesday that Turkey wants the United States to "step in and prevent" the redeployment.

A spokesman for Arab militias within the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said Tuesday that as many as 1,700 fighters would be redeployed.

Turkey sent troops into the Afrin enclave on Jan. 20 to drive out Syrian Kurdish fighters it considers to be terrorists.

U.S. officials have warned that Turkey's offensive could undermine the fight against the IS.

Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, rejected that, saying the aim was to clear Syria of all terror groups.

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