Erdogan Says No Negotiations as Syria Incursion Enters Second Week
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country’s drive into a 20-mile-wide zone just inside Syria will not end until Syrian-Kurdish fighters there are gone. Speaking on Wednesday, he said he would allow the Kurds to relinquish their weapons and withdraw, but reiterated that there would be no cease-fire, as the United States and other countries have been demanding. “Declare a ceasefire, they say. We will never declare a ceasefire,” Erdogan told journalists flying home with him late Tuesday following a visit to Azerbaijan. “We do not sit at the table with terrorist organizations.” Ankara considers the Kurds’ YPG militia a terrorist group, believing it supports Kurdish separatists inside Turkey, and has been attacking its positions since October 9 in unison with the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army. Robert O’Brien, the new national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, headed to Turkey on Wednesday and was due to meet with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a more personal attempt to bring about a cease-fire.