Turkey will give no assurances to US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria: Erdogan's spokesman

File photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 08, 2019, 06.27 PM (IST)

Days after US National Security Advisr John Bolton stated conditions for the withdrawal of US troops from Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told journalists in Ankara on Tuesday that Turkey would provide no assurances to Kurdish militia forces in Syria.

The clarification from the spokesman came after he held a meeting with Bolton.

"Nobody should expect Turkey to provide assurances to a terror organisation," Kalin told journalists.

White House national security adviser John Bolton had on Sunday sought protection for the Syrian Kurdish forces.

Bolton, who is on a four-day trip to Israel and Turkey, had said earlier that he would stress on the security of the Kurdish forces.

He had also added that Trump's position is that Turkey may not attack the Kurds and that the US withdrawal would not take place without an agreement on that.

President Donald Trump's abrupt decision to announce a US pull-out from Syria left open many questions, chiefly whether Kurds fighters operating in northern Syria would now be targetted by their long-time enemy Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey on Tuesday urged the United States to take back all the weapons provided to Syrian Kurdish militia forces in the fight against the Islamic State group, a presidential spokesman said.

"We expect that all the weapons that were given out will be seized," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told journalists in Ankara after a meeting with White House National Security adviser John Bolton.

The US troops in Syria have never been involved in a direct fight with the ISIS militant group unless it was for their self-defence. 

Since 2015 the forces had been assisting and advising the Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Force (SDF).

The Kurdish forces who have been demanding a separate country for themselves fought against the Islamic State in the country alongside the US troops.

The Bashar al-Assad regime, on the other hand, was backed by Russia, Iran and Turkey.

(With inputs from agencies)


Story highlights

'Nobody should expect Turkey to provide assurances to a terror organisation,' Ibrahim Kalin told journalists on Tuesday.