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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he felt “serious sadness” at criticism against his country’s invasion of Syria from the Islamist regime in Iran on Tuesday, lamenting that President Hassan Rouhani did not “prevent” officials from condemning Erdogan.
Rouhani himself voiced disapproval of Erdogan’s “Operation Peace Spring” — a military invasion of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) to replace the indigenous Kurdish population there with some of the four million, mostly Arab Syrian refugees in Turkey — when it began this month. Erdogan did not address that criticism, instead insisting that Rouhani had a duty to keep Iranians from criticizing Turkey.
Erdogan - Comments - Flight - Sochi - Russia
Erdogan made the comments before boarding a flight to Sochi, Russia, where he will meet with counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss “Operation Peace Spring.”
Both Iran and Russia are close allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who loudly opposes any Turkish presence in his country. Erdogan has previously stated that the Turkish military’s only goal in Syria is to “end the rule of the tyrant Assad, who terrorizes with state terror.” He has since changed his tune, claiming that the Syrian Kurdish forces, the People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ), are a threat to the Turkish homeland. Ankara considers the YPG — U.S. allies who were indispensable to the fight against the Islamic State — indistinguishable from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a U.S.-designated Marxist terrorist organization.
Operation - Peace - Spring - President - Donald
“Operation Peace Spring” began after President Donald Trump ordered the removal of U.S. troops from Rojava, prompting Kurds to call the move a “betrayal.” Kurdish locals pelted withdrawing American troops with tomatoes and trash as they drove out of northern Syrian cities this week.
Assad repeated his demands that Turkish troops leave Syrian soil on Tuesday.
Criticism - Iran - Erdogan - Statements - Operation
Asked about criticism from Iran, Erdogan said, “Some of the statements about the operation have caused serious sadness to me, of course these voices are outside...
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